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James Franco Channels James Dean in 'Rebel'

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Love him, or hate him, there are two things about James Franco that are a given: 1) He probably doesn't sleep much; and 2) He can't be pigeonholed.

The actor-academic-Oscar host adds curator to his growing list of accomplishments by conceiving a MOCA exhibition and accompanying book that serve as an ode to James Dean in Nicholas Ray's 1955 film Rebel Without a Cause.

Both the book and the exhibition Rebel reinterpret themes, scenes and the people involved in the making of the film, and asked numerous artists to capture both the tangibles and intangibles of the time, from the motorcycle and car culture of the 1950s to teen angst and the tenuous relationships between parents and their kids.

Joining Franco in the multifaceted project are artists Douglas Gordon, Damon McCarthy, Paul McCarthy, Harmony Korine, Terry Richardson, Ed Ruscha and Aaron Young, working in various media, including film installations and projections, several of which were either directed by or feature Franco.

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Rebel, the book, was recently published by MOCA and OHWOW gallery and features works by the participating artists, writing by Franco, and an essay by art theorist and RISD professor Francisco J. Ricardo, PhD.

The exhibition is currently up through June 23, at JF Chen, 941 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles. Hours: Tuesday through Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm; free admission. The book is available at MOCA and OHWOW. Purchases of the book help support the museum.