James Franco’s Rebel Exhibit Debuts at MOCA


Actor James Franco has been a busy guy lately, what with art school and teaching and writing for The Huffington Post. Now’s your chance to catch his latest project—Rebel, an exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, inspired by a film that needs no introduction, Rebel Without a Cause.

Franco joined forces with a gang of artists, including Douglas Gordon, Harmony Korine, Damon McCarthy, Paul McCarthy, Terry Richardson, Ed Ruscha, and Aaron Young, to explore the themes and events in the original film and its behind-the-scenes drama and issues of teen angst, identity, celebrity.

“James Dean, Self Portrait of You + Me and Me + You + You + Me + Me + You (02)” by Douglas Gordon

The show is a collection of film, video installation, photography, painting, drawing, and sculpture, all housed in recreations of the iconic Chateau Marmont bungalows designed by Commonwealth Projects. Rebel captures the spirit of the original film, and explores a sort of parallel universe that emerged between the characters—the rebels—and the actors who played them.

Among the artworks include Aaron Young’s large-scale sculpture of a 1950 Ford Custom Tudor Coupe—the same type of car that killed James Dean—dropped from an eighty-foot high crane into a desert ditch, and Galen Pehrson’s collection of hand-drawn, animated vignettes, voiced by Franco, Jena Malone, and Devendra Banhart, that mine the film’s darker undertones.

“Production Stills: Grapevine (2011) for Rebel, starring James Franco” by Aaron Young

Rebel opened this week and is on view until June 23.

JF Chen , 941 North Highland Avenue, LA; Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; admission is free.

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