By DeeDee Hughes, Staff Writer
The intersection of the celebrities and fine arts never seems to go smoothly, but with James Franco the results are almost always catastrophic. In his most recent attempt to insert himself into the fine art world, James Franco has teamed up with Daniel Arsham to star in the second short film of Arsham’s nine-part series titled “Future Relic.”
Often, fine artists who associate themselves and work extensively with celebrities are not taken as seriously as those who shy away from the limelight. Indeed, Daniel Arsham is no stranger to celebrity collaborations. In the first installment of this nine-part series, he worked with artist Swizz Beatz and fashion designer Richard Chai. He also recently made a plaster cast of Pharrell Williams for an exhibition in Paris called “Girl.”
However, Arsham is a highly respected artist. Having attended Cooper Union in New York City, Arsham has found a great deal of success in practicing as a multidisciplinary artist. If there was anyone who could make Franco seem like some semblance of a credible artist, Arsham would be the guy.
That is not to say that Arsham does make Franco seem like an artist. Franco serves as little more than a puppet in the short film, which explores Arsham’s ideas about humanity’s future and Earth’s destruction. Franco is seen bedecked in lab gear, toying with some of Arsham’s creations of in his studio.
It’s probably a good thing that Franco didn’t have a hand in the artistic process. He’s attempted and failed to make a positive impact on the art world. His most notable failure was his Cindy Sherman exhibit, in which he recreated a number of her famous photographs featuring himself dressed as a woman. You can only imagine the uproar feminists created upon seeing the exhibition.
The second installment of “Future Relic,” though, is not at all offensive. While it can be said that James Franco’s presence detracts from the piece simply because his celebrity status distracts the viewer from the conceptual integrity of the film, it’s beautifully made. It combines the excitement of science fiction plots with the artfulness of noir films.
So yes, we are all tired of seeing James Franco and his ridiculous antics in almost every creative discipline, but Arsham’s work goes far deeper than that of his celebrity coworkers. Check out the film and see for yourself Franco’s latest performance.