James Franco to Star in "Homo-Sex-Art-Film," Chuck Close Beefs With Web Artist, and More Must-Read Art News

James Franco to Star in "Homo-Sex-Art-Film," Chuck Close Beefs With Web Artist, and More Must-Read Art News
James Franco
(Photo: Joe Schildhorn/BFAnyc.com)

– Franco's Next Flick to Be a "Homo-Sex-Art-Film": Our Franco-file runneth over! The busiest actor in the art world's latest project, a collaboration with "I Want Your Love" director Travis Mathews, is racing into production ahead of a September premiere in New York. "Last week I got an email from James Franco's agent asking if I'd be interested in collaborating with him on a homo-sex-art-film," Mathews recently wrote on his blog. "We're staying pretty mumsy on the specifics for now, but I can tell you that it's going to ruffle some feathers." [Indiewire]

– Chuck Close Threatened Legal Action Against Digital Artist: A private dispute between legendary painter Chuck Close and digital artist Scott Blake has come to light — and it isn't too flattering for the former. In 2010, Close e-mailed Blake threatening legal action if he did not remove his "Chuck Close Filter" — a web site that transforms photographs into Close's signature pixelated style — from the Internet. The entire e-mail exchange between the two men is now viewable online, alongside Blake's own detailed account of his motivations. "I believe my digital mosaics were not copying his art but rather a logical extension of the creative process," he wrote. [HyperallergicWired

 

– Smithsonian Gets Google Mapped: The world's largest museum complex just got a little easier to navigate thanks to the Smithsonian Institution's partnership with Google, which has added the SI's 17 museums in Washington, D.C., New York, and Virginia — and the National Zoo — to Google Maps. Not to be confused with the Google Art Project, the new initiative lets users navigate the Smithsonian's many, many rooms from their Android smartphones. [AP]

– Amazon Withdraws Controversial Caravaggio Book: A lavishly illustrated e-book claiming to contain 100 previously unrecognized sketches and drawings by Caravaggio abruptly disappeared from Amazon's Web site yesterday. The veracity of the book was immediately questioned by scholars upon its release last week. Though the online retailer declined to explain why it withdrew the book, the Milan city council announced it is launching an investigation into the authors' research methods. [Telegraph]

– Protests Over Berlin Museum's Plans to Remove Old Masters: More than 7,200 people have signed a petition addressed to Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation president Hermann Parzinger asking that he not go through with a plan to remove the Old Masters collection from Berlin's Gemaeldegalerie after collectors Ulla and Heiner Pietzsch donated 150 pieces from their modern art collection on condition that they be displayed there. In response, Parzinger countered that the works by BotticelliRembrandtTitian, and company will be housed in a new building on Museum Island that could be completed by 2023. [Bloomberg]

 Trenton City Museum in Dire Straits: Times are tough for the Trenton City Museum, which mounts exhibitions on New Jersey's history and local artists. Budget cuts forced the museum to lay off its director and put an intern at the helm, and it is currently without an endowment. Though the intern was later replaced, "I am very concerned about the future of the museum,” said city councilman Zachary Chester. [NYT]

Tunisian Artists Still at Risk: Following last month's riots at Tunis's Printemps des Arts fair (see Shane Ferro's report in the situation and interviews with artists, here), Tunisian artists continue to be threatened with violence from ultra-orthodox Salafi Islamists, and the state has been slow to offer protection. "We still do not feel safe," said photographer Héla Ammar. "Some artists are afraid to return their neighborhoods for fear of being attacked." [TAN]

– Stars' Favorite Places to See Art Under the Stars: Since MoMA's most recent Party in the Garden, Architectural Digest has been asking art and real world celebrities to name their favorite outdoor art spaces. Though MoMA PS1 director Klaus Biesenbach's response — "My favorite sculpture garden is definitely MoMA" — is disappointingly unimaginative, Kim Cattrall's choice of the south of France's Miro-885156">Miro-filled Maeght Foundation is impressive. Photographer Delfina Blaquier opted for "Koons's 'Puppy' at Peter Brant's house," while the Connecticut super-collector's son Peter Brant II noted: "I have friends in Beverly Hills who have something like 250 Rodins in their garden." [Architectural Digest]

– Minnesota's American Art Museum Gets a Home: The Minnesota Museum of American Art will have a regular gallery for the first time in two years. This fall, the institution will settle into a ground-level space in the vintage Pioneer-Endicott building, where it is considering constructing to a permanent 45,000-square-foot home. The museum moved out of its space at a government center in 2009, and has not had a home base since. [The Line]

 Ali Kazma to Rep Turkey at the 2013 Venice Biennale: The Istanbul-born artist is widely known for his documentary-style video work focusing on labor practices in different professions. He won the 2010 Nam June Paik Award from the Art Foundation of North Rhine-Westphalia for his series "Obstructions" and has exhibited at the 7th and 10th Istanbul Biennials. [ArtReview]

VIDEO OF THE DAY

"Chuck Close Animation Test" by artist Scott Blake

 

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