Dammit James Franco, you've spent your goodwill

I don’t hate James Franco as an actor. I do, however, hate him for associating himself with (and thereby signal-boosting) this crap.

I realize this is a few weeks old, but my ire was reignited when other blogs are reporting that somebody actually bought a “work.”

I’m not one of those folks who rejects modern / abstract / quasi art. I try to visit Chicago’s MCA regularly, have a fondness for quite a few artists that are often rejected, and generally take a “hey, if somebody wants it, make it” view of art.

This, however, irks me. It’s not the project itself that bothers me – hanging title cards for impossible / nonexistent art is a cute idea. It’s something I would expect of an MFA student, and have no quarrel with.

My irritation here is that a “celebrity endorsement” means that this is getting far more attention than it deserves. Hell, I think most artists / students of art have had this type of idea before. I doubt it would even take much legwork to unearth multiple prior examples.

Most artists then, however, go on to realize that cute gimmicks alone aren’t enough. In this case, however, a little celebrity and publicity are substituting for content, and I feel like that’s a crystalization of everything I do despise in the art world. Barriers to entry are already high enough for talented artists. Now you just need a famous friend; talent is optional?

This is easily the stupidest thing I have ever heard in my entire life. For a collective group that is constantly fighting off the unwashed masses’ cries of “mah five year old baby gurl could do that!”, you’d think they wouldn’t resort to selling things that an actual five year old could do!

Five year old babies are damn hard to shove into soup cans…and you need one for every can…who the hell has access to that many five year olds?

I don’t hate typoink as a poster but why is he/she signal boosting crap?

It’s brilliant – as in, brilliant on THEIR end. Franco and company know people will buy anything, and they’ll probably make a bundle. I love it! HA!

Might it not be a way to make a donation, and a dumb joke at the same time?

I’ve always maintained that “Art is anything you can get away with”.

That’s putting it charitably.

So, you don’t have any problem with the project itself, and you even think it’s kind of cute. But because James Franco is a celebrity, he’s… what? Not allowed to feel the same way about it that you do?

This is a very stupid pit thread.

Because her heart belongs to Dada?

I’ve written a letter to Dada; his address is heaven above…

There is some tongue-in-cheek here. I think James Franco and friends should submit a request for a grant to the National Endowment for the Arts, they are always giving away millions for bullshit. http://www.nea.gov/ :smiley:

By the way, I work in advertising. James Franco has one of the highest TVQs since Johnny Carson. Franco hosted this years Oscars. From what I have heard Franco can have almost any script he wants. Advertising Age reports Franco turned down being a Pepsi spokesperson for six digits.

They let Surrealists into Heaven? Possible, I suppose. But not French Impressionists, they are right out! Its in Scripture: “The love of Monet is the root of all evil.”

I bought several pieces with imaginary money. Or at least I imagined that I did.

I’m in this camp. The dopes are the ones willing to pay for it. Franco can sell whatever the fuck he wants.

My complaint is that Franco’s celebrity has propelled what should have been a joke that died on the vine at art school into something that, well, actually exists.

Or, in this case, doesn’t.

Honestly, my complaint isn’t really personal against Franco. Hell, if some artists asked me to contribute to their project by thinking of a concept, I’d go for it. The whole situation just epitomizes how much I dislike the feedback loop between media, celebrity, and art.

In fairness, the *Pepsi: Either Arm Will Do!*™ campaign was controversial on its face.

Why is this suddenly not a joke, now that Franco’s involved?

And Franco is held to a different standard because… he’s famous?

What is this feedback loop, exactly, and why is it a bad thing?

And I suppose I’ll throw this one open to drm and Guinastasia, but why do you assume that the person who paid for this isn’t also in on the joke?

Don’t really care whether they are in on the joke or not. If someone is dumb enough to pay money for it, I’m not gonna fault Franco for trying to sell a title card and bullshit (unless the customer is being lied to, which I don’t think they are).

I’m horrible at gauging these things but is this a joke to James Franco or is he just crazy? This seems like it’s straight out of Funny or Die or something. I don’t think any of this will be an issue as I don’t think anyone is ACTUALLY stupid enough to pay for it. Like I said, however, if they are, it’s on them. When it comes to art, people can sell whatever they want as far as I’m concerned.

I don’t see how Franco’s involvement in this is the key factor. Sure it’s ridiculous but that’s because it’s a ridiculous concept. It would not become magically intelligent if a bunch of unknown artists were doing the same thing. If anything Franco’s participation is at least causing this pseudo-art to receive the ridicule it deserves.