Feb 6 th –Feb 26 2016
Siegfried Contemporary is pleased to announce its first exhibition in Switzerland featuring new paintings by the
American artist and actor James Franco.
The exhibition entitled “KooKoo” is comprised of 13 new paintings of birds. As Franco points out, "Birds are
mystical creatures that inhabit our world and just as easily fly away. They're like fairies on the periphery of
civilized life."
Here birds of all sorts and sizes cover the exhibition space, from floor to ceiling, creating a kind of ‘cuckoo’ (mad)
atmosphere. This new body of work is a continuation of the ‘Fat animal’ and bird paintings that were shown at
Siegfried Contemporary in London in November 2014.
“KooKoo” is inspired by its charming setting: a small chalet in the mountains that bears a strong resemblance to a
cuckoo clock. As intended, the bird paintings complement the quaint architecture of Swiss chalets. The title of the
exhibition can also be seen as a comment on Franco's multi-faceted film personas as well as his own real life
character which is often provocative and deranged while at the same time enchanting and witty.
Franco’s paintings have a naive quality, stressing the importance of childhood and coming of age as a formative
period in our lives. His paintings are humorous, they are his way of responding to the everyday life experiences he
encounters as an acclaimed actor.
JAMES FRANCO has participated in the arts since he was very young. He dedicated himself to figure drawing
classes as a teenager and pursued painting as well. While his acting career took off, he continued to study and
participate in the art world. During this time, James’ paintings were shown at LACY GALLERY and GLU
GALLERY in Los Angeles. He combined his acting experience and his love of art in Carter’s Erased James
Franco, which was shown internationally, but most notably at the TATE MODERN in London and MoMA in New
James’ show Dangerous Book Four Boys appeared in solo exhibitions at THE CLOCKTOWER GALLERY in
New York City and PERES PROJECTS GALLERY in Berlin. In 2011, James and Gus Van Sant came together to
do a show entitled Unfinished at the GAGOSIAN GALLERY in Los Angeles. The show was focused around and
inspired by River Phoenix and Van Sant’s My Own Private Idaho. In the Summer of 2011, James opened two
separate shows in New York at MoMA PS1 and THE ASIAN SONG SOCIETY. In September 2011, James was
offered the great honor of having exhibition space at THE VENICE BIENNALE for his project, Rebel. James
participated in PERFORMA 2011 collaborating on the piece Three Performances in Search of Tennessee with
Laurel Nakadate. In February 2012, James also showed Memories of Idaho at LINCOLN CENTER.
In February 2013, James had a solo show, titled Gay Town, at PERES PROJECTS GALLERY in Berlin. His next
solo show, Psycho Nacirema, curated by Douglas Gordon, opened at PACE GALLERY in London on June 5th,
2013. He exhibited his series of photographs, New Film Stills, at PACE GALLERY in New York in Spring 2014
and at GALERIE CINEMA as a part of Paris’ Mois de la Photo 2014. Additionally, he had a show a SIEGFRIED
CONTEMPORARY in London in Fall 2014. In 2015, James participated in a group show titled Cerebral Vortex at
MAMA Gallery in Los Angeles as well as two shows, A California Childhood and Bromance, with his brother
Tom Franco.
James holds an MFA from the Tisch School of the Arts in DIRECTING at NEW YORK UNIVERSITY. He
received his MFA in DIGTIAL MEDIA from the RHODE ISLAND SCHOOL OF DESIGN in the Spring of 2012.
For all enquiries, please contact:
Andreas Siegfried
Chalet Mittelgässli
3792 Saanen
M.: +44 (0)771 267 32 17
[email protected]