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Kalup Linzy & James Franco, That's Entertainment!

June 13, 2011

What’s the difference between art and entertainment? In this film, artist Kalup Linzy prepares for his debut performance as Kalup & Franco—a performance art music-based collaboration with the actor James Franco—at Rob Pruitt’s 2010 Art Awards at Webster Hall in the East Village. Kalup & Franco are the closing act for a Hollywood-style awards show where celebrity and contemporary art merge in ambiguous ways.

Featuring excerpts of Linzy’s original songs Chewing Gum, Hot Mess, and Asshole, along with cameos by artists Marina Abramovic, John Currin, Rachel Feinstein, Mary Heilmann, Marilyn Minter, and Rob Pruitt; curators Klaus Biesenbach and Tom Eccles; dealer Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn; and critic Jerry Saltz.

Kalup & Franco’s debut EP titled Turn It Up, co-produced by DJ /rupture, was released July 12, 2011 on the label Dutty Artz.

More information and credits


Art21 New York Close Up Created & Produced by: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Editor: Mary Ann Toman. Cinematography: Rafael Moreno Salazar, Andrew David Watson & Ava Wiland. Additional Camera: Don Edler & John Marton. Key Grip: John Marton. Sound: Ian Forster, Nicholas Lindner & Ava Wiland. Associate Producer: Ian Forster. Production Assistant: Paulina V. Ahlstrom, Don Edler & Maren Miller. Design: Open. Artwork: Kalup Linzy & James Franco. Music: The 2010 Art Awards Band. Thanks: The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Bronwyn Keenan, Natural Health, NYC Taxi, Glenn O’Brien, Kangmei Pan, Rob Pruitt, Rob Pruitt’s 2010 Art Awards, Lauren Van Natten, Webster Hall & White Columns. An Art21 Workshop Production. © Art21, Inc. 2011. All rights reserved.

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Interested in showing this film in an exhibition or public screening? To license this video please visit Licensing & Reproduction.

Kalup Linzy

Kalup Linzy was born in 1977 in Clermont, Florida, formerly worked in New York, and currently lives and works in Tampa, Florida. Linzy’s theatrical works challenge ideas of gender while embracing a wide range of pop cultural forms such as soap operas, drag performances, and censored movies and radio programs from the 1930s. He has developed nearly thirty characters based on stereotypical Hollywood figures and often performs them himself. Linzy works on all aspects of his productions—writing, directing, and filming—and he has combined his DIY aesthetic with high-profile collaborations with figures such as James Franco and Chloe Sevigny.

“I think, in terms of Hollywood, that it’s a big piece of performance art in itself.”

Kalup Linzy