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In the Air – Art+Auction's Gossip Column

James Franco Curated This New Book of Dennis Hopper’s Photographs

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Lest you forget that among relentless polymath James Franco’s encyclopedic collection of hats there is one labeled “curator,” the actor-artist-essayist-professor-whatsit has teamed with the Hopper Art Trust, which represents the work of the late Dennis Hopper — who was merely an actor, director, and artist — and something called Le Book (which describes itself as “The online reference providing insider access to the global creative network”) to curate a new tome of Hopper’s black-and-white photographs.

“Dennis’ photographs slash with artistic insight into the cultural, arts and celebrity scenes of the 1960’s (sic),” Franco said in a statement. Creative director Marc Atlan also collaborated on the book project, which comes in a bright pink box and features a cheeky back cover (see below).

The Le Book book (what?!) is retailing for $250, and joins other high-end artist books published by the network featuring Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Gilles Deacon. If that sounds like a lot of money, remember that Taschen’s sold-out 2009 mega-volume “Dennis Hopper. Photographs 1961–1967” was priced at a whopping $2,000. (Tony Shafrazi is selling a pared down version for $80.)

“Franco’s commitment to artistic expression made him a prime candidate to curate the artwork for this year’s Le Book,” the network’s press release explains. “Who better than an actor with a penchant to explore the arts, to honor the work of one of the industry’s most noted actors and visual artists?”


— Benjamin Sutton

(Images courtesy Le Book, the Hopper Art Trust.)

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