James Franco, Gus Van Sant exhibition coming this week to Gagosian Gallery


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James Franco is almost certainly having one of the busiest weeks of his career. The 32-year-old actor is nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in ‘127 Hours.’ He’ll also be co-hosting the Oscars ceremony on Sunday with Anne Hathaway at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Now comes word that a new art exhibition by Franco and filmmaker Gus Van Sant is opening Saturday at the Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills.

‘Unfinished,’ which runs Feb. 26 to April 9, features two films, ‘Endless Idaho’ and ‘My Own Private River,’ created by Franco using dailies and other footage that Van Sant shot for his 1991 movie ‘My Own Private Idaho.’ The gallery said that ‘Endless Idaho’ runs a Warholian 12 hours and features edited outtakes, deleted scenes, alternate takes and behind-the-scenes footage from the movie. The score is by Luke Paquin and Tim O’Keefe.


‘My Own Private River’ focuses on the late actor River Phoenix, who plays a narcoleptic drifter in the original movie. The film features edited footage of Phoenix to create a portrait of the young actor at work. Music for the movie is by Michael Stipe of R.E.M.

The movies will be accompanied by eight works on paper by Van Sant, including watercolors. Gagosian said that the idea for the exhibition was born when Van Sant worked with Franco on the 2008 movie ‘Milk.’ The director showed Franco unused footage from ‘Idaho’ and the actor was inspired to turn it into works of art.

‘My Own Private Idaho,’ which stars Phoenix and Keanu Reeves, is loosely inspired by Shakespeare’s ‘Henry IV, Parts One and Two,’ and is set in the world of drug addicts and male prostitutes in Portland, Ore.

Franco is no stranger to the art world. The actor has exhibited his art around the world and collaborated with L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art on the TV soap opera ‘General Hospital.’ He also has collaborated with the artist known as Carter on a 63-minute piece titled ‘Erased James Franco.’

Earlier this month, the actor officially joined Twitter -- he can be found @jamesfranco.



James Franco and his ‘General Hospital’ performance art project

‘General Hospital’ airs its MOCA episode with James Franco

James Franco carries on the Warholian marriage of celebrity and art

James Franco, avant-garde muse

-- David Ng

Photo (top): James Franco at the recent nominees luncheon for the 83rd annual Academy Awards in Beverly Hills. Credit: Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

Photo (bottom): Franco outside the Pacific Design Center, where he taped a ‘General Hospital’’ episode. Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times