Last month, when we brought you nude paintings of Seth Rogen which James Franco had painted as part of an exhibition he plans to bring to New York and Los Angeles — it was quickly pointed out by a commenter that the paintings were actually plagiarisms of drawings that an artist, Christopher Schulz, had released in a self published book in 2011 (link NSFW). Because, of course, James Franco.
James Franco appeared on the Today show this morning, however, to talk about his new film Palo Alto with director Gia Coppola and when asked about the nude paintings (4:15 mark) he had this to say:
Somebody, some other artist took it upon himself to do these sketches of Seth in the nude — like, Seth, he didn’t pose for them. But this artist depicted Seth, and he wouldn’t have gotten much attention for these sketches, except that he put Seth’s face on it. And so I felt like, oh here he is appropriating Seth’s personality and his persona for his art to get attention for his art, and I thought, well, if anybody should paint Seth naked, it should be me, so I took his sketches and then did paintings out of them.
So, James Franco, important and sophisticated artist, just justified blatant plagiary by basically dismissing the motivation and inspiration of a fellow artist (who he failed to even mention by name) as “wanting attention.”
Yes. Because if anyone knows a thing or two about “wanting attention,” it’s James Franco.