Actor James Franco and Brother Tom to Exhibit Sewer-Pipe Sculptures at ASU

Posted By on June 13, 2017

James and Tom Franco will exhibit, “Pipe Brothers: Tom and James Franco,” beginning on June 17 at the ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center.

James Franco, is an Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe award-winning actor best known for his roles in films such as “Spider-Man,” “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” “This Is The End,” “Pineapple Express,” “The Holiday” and many more, is also known as a writer, visual artist, director and producer.

Tom Franco is a full-time sculptor, community builder and founder of the nonprofit organization, “Firehouse Art Collective,” which provides affordable spaces where artists can live, work and collaborate.

Together, the brothers and artists, who frequently collaborate, created an exhibition consisting for nine large carved and painted sewer pipes – each of which weighing nearly 750 pounds.

“From a rabbit furiously jumping rope to James Dean behind the wheel of his infamous Porsche 550, the Francos totally embraced the cylinder as their canvas, creating narratives and immersive perspectives,” said ASU Art Museum curator, Garth Johnson.

The pipes for the exhibit were produced by Phoenix-based factory, Mission Clay Products.The factory’s owner, Bryan Vansell, has worked with ceramic artists for over 30 years.

Tom Franco credits Vansell and his staff for inspiring to work outside of his comfort zone.

“There were so many firsts for me with the medium of clay — the size of the sculptures, DIY working conditions, immersion in process,” said Tom Franco. “I’ve completely fallen into an obsession with the cylindrical form; it’s like finding a primal shape that we can’t live without.”

Johnson also noted the factory’s role in the production of the artworks, and the difficulty of ceramics.

“To make this project happen, Tom and James had to adjust their working process to fit into the factory’s rhythms and equipment,” said Johnson. “The learning curve with any ceramic project can be steep, but their countless hours of carving and painting resulted in the nine finished pipes.”

Following the conclusion of the exhibit on September 23, the pipes will become used as public art.


Jamie Killin

About Jamie Killin

Jamie Killin is the web editor for Frontdoors Media. She also is a freelance journalist who has been published in Thrillist, Phoenix Magazine, So Scottsdale!, The Arizona Republic and more.

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