James Franco Plans Show of Bird Paintings in Gstaad

The title of the show is based in part on Franco's personality.



James Franco has a new art exhibition on the horizon. The show, called “Koo Koo,” will open February 5 in Gstaad, Switzerland at Siegfried Contemporary, and will feature all new paintings by Franco, according to private art dealer Andreas Siegfried, of birds.

This isn’t the first time Franco has taken to painting animals. This past winter, Siegfried gave over his gallery space in London to Franco to display paintings that the actor-cum-artiste-extraordinaire made depicting obese animals. “He wanted to paint fat animals because no one ever paints ugly or fat animals,” Siegfried told artnet News in a phone call. “Fat Squirrel,” as the show was called, was, in the minds of the two collaborators, such a success that they are now going for round two.

The inspiration for the show is manifold. The space that the show will be housed in apparently resembles a cuckoo clock in the mountains, so the bird paintings will complement the architecture. But also, the title is a comment on Franco’s koo-koo personality according to Siegfried. There really isn’t much to say about the title. It’s kind of perfect, seeing as Franco’s charade as an artist is only tolerated because of his fame and privilege.


James Franco, Fat Squirrel.

Franco has been known recently for his fearless, but not necessarily tasteful (or even good), forays into contemporary art, working through the media of painting and photography, and teaching classes at art schools.

Franco has co-opted more identities than just the “artist.” The admittedly straight man interviewed his “gay” public persona in March for FourTwoNine. Question for the “real” James Franco: Is your straight white male celebrity life so boring that you have to mock and fetishize the lives of others? Enough is enough.

Siegfried told artnet News on the phone that he doesn’t actually expect “masses of people” to come and see the show in person given that it’s in Gstaad, and viewings for the three-week show are by appointment only. But, there will be a Rolls-Royce-sponsored dinner for a select coterie of jet-setting connoisseurs during the run of the show honoring the painter and the show, so high-profile clientele won’t miss out on what is sure to be a koo-koo fête.

h/t Kenny Schachter.

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