Franco’s Playhouse

James Franco, “New Film Still #32″ (2013), gelatin silver print, 26″ x 39-3/4” (66 cm x 101 cm), Edition of 3. (© 2014 Pace Gallery, All Rights Reserved. Unless otherwise specified, all artworks © the artist; all images © Pace Gallery)

LOS ANGELES — For all of James Franco’s talk about being James Franco, it’s pretty lame that he’s now trying to glean a bit of Cindy Sherman’s fame by recreating her photographs in drag. This marks a new low point for the acceptance of Franco as a celebrity performing in the art world, awarding another solo exhibition to a man-child whose work does nothing but allow him to market his own image over and over again. Like any smart Hollywood actor would, Franco is capitalizing on his own image. But unlike in film, where an actor plays a role, there is no separation between fiction and reality, and that is not a good thing. For his new solo exhibition New Film Stills at Pace Gallery in New York, he crosses into the world of female archetypes in film by performing Cindy Sherman in drag. James Franco, this is not a role you were meant to play.

New Film Stills continues at Pace Gallery (508 West 25th Street, Chelsea, Manhattan) through May 3.

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