Actor and arts section thingamajig James Franco has released a 4-minute filmic response to Italian Renaissance ceramics as a part of Sotheby's Artist Response series for their show, Glazed: The Legacy of the Della Robbia. The Della Robbia family lived in Florence in the 16th Century, and perfected the art of luridly colorful, high glaze terra cotta ceramics, that depicted both religious and secular subjects. For his response, Franco recreated some of the Della Robbias' works including sculptures of the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist with live actors, and filmed the actors being drizzled with glistening gobs of goo to the kind of generic rap song they play in MTV shows. It's mesmerizing.
In a press release, Franco discussed his interpretation of the works in a press release:
"For centuries, sculpture has been used decoratively and as iconography. The Della Robbia family created sculptures that take on both of those roles. I was immediately struck by the vibrancy and shine of the glaze of the Della Robbia sculptures in this show, especially the human forms frozen in time as icons. To mimic and modernize these sculptures, I wanted to create living icons emphasizing the glazing process. I filmed them in slow motion so the viewer relishes in the passage of time and can imagine the tangible feeling of the liquid covering each living sculpture."
The show is on view at Sotheby's New York through November 18th.