Street Photography

Sunday, 2 June 2013

James Franco - Psycho Nacirema

Snowy was feeling very apprehensive about going to artist and actor James Franco 's Psycho Nacirema private view at Pace Gallery on 6–8 Lexington Street, W1F OLB.

At last, Pandemonia reassured Snowy that James was play-acting Marion Crane, the victim character in Alfred Hitchcock's movie Psycho, not the devilishly handsome Norman Bates, though with James' good looks, he'd be the ideal candidate for the role in a remake.

Decked out in red, Pandemonia & Snowy cabbed to Lexington Street. At the entrance, they met art film producer Jacqui Davies. Jacqui said, "I've been dying to meet you both." Her charming manner made Snowy so comfortable that he forgot what was in store for him. They exchanged cards and went their separate ways.

Pandemonia and Snowy "lifted" to the first floor. On exit, they were transported to James' version of the Bates Hotel—a grey-walled, decapitated-looking American motel exterior reminiscent of the 1960s. Upon entering the first room, there, before them, could have been a set from Alice in Wonderland, with a huge signing "in" book. Brightening up this space was effervescent Jane from Found Art and her chum Sam Heyworth. These gals took a shine to P&S and chorused, "You're fabulous. Let's get a pix"

Once the pix was done, Pandemonia signed in and followed the red paint mimicking blood into next room, which, as they later discovered, led to various other sinister communicating rooms. In this space, snapping all and sundry, was photographer Damian Griffiths Damian "papped" Pandemonia and Snowy and then joined them to peek through custom-made holes in the wall. The holes revealed James in blond wig and make-up to resemble Hitchcock's victim taking a shower. The sight had the ladies and few of the men ogling James' buff bod.

Moving on, Pandemonia and Snowy headed to the bathroom scene, only to find themselves isolated in the bog.

They quit and returned to another of the rooms in the lively company of Holly Shackleton, editor of i-D magazine, and Terry Jones, creative director and publisher of i-D. Holly gave Snowy a gentle squeeze, and then both she and Terry made haste to the next room. Snowy presumed it was to find a cool space in what turned out to be a stiflingly hot exhibition.

In the hallway, unfazed by the sweltering heat and with a perfectly coiffed hair, was Viktoria Modesta. Viktoria told Pandemonia and Snowy, "I've been under studio lights all day, being shot with Bettina Rheims styled by Sascha Lilic."

Pandemonia and Snowy then moved on to find James Franco in the back room, where he was holding court. Snowy noticed James had wisely opted to wear a T-shirt and jeans, rendering him cooler than his guests. Pandemonia discovered James had started working on this project one year ago and, judging by his smile, was pleased with the results.

Exiting the show, Pandemonia and Snowy ran into a fan, the salutary Tasleem Mulhall. Tasleem confessed, "I read everything on your blog, and I monitor your every move." P&S were flattered and then took to their heels.

In the cab, returning home, Pandemonia and Snowy wistfully hoped James' next show explores a lighter side of life, contemplating milking the movie Pillow Talk, perhaps.
What an amazing Jan Marrow he would be …

photo/copy: Stephen Mahoney