James Franco Carves Brad Renfro’s Name into His Arm for Art


The L.A. Times reports on an art installation produced for this year's Venice Biennale featuring contributions from James Franco, Douglas Gordon, Harmony Korine, Damon McCarthy, Paul McCarthy, Ed Ruscha and Aaron Young. The installation is based around James Dean's Rebel Without a Cause.

Franco, who had a hand in the other artists’ projects, also made work for this show in homage to the actor Brad Renfro, who died in 2008 at age 25 of a heroin overdose. He had Renfro’s name carved into his right arm with a switchblade, documenting the carving in photography and film. (The carving itself could be seen as one of the show’s more permanent artworks.)

Above, Franco and Renfro in a detail from a still from the 2002 film, Deuces Wild.

(via dlisted)


  1. Rin says

    Gay or crazy? What does carving names in your arm have to do with being gay?

    I’m going for crazy. My infatuation with him is officially over.

  2. lulu says

    “Gay or Crazy”
    well you carve the name of someone you love in your arm–a love interest, a family member, or close friend. I’m guessing love interest because James unlike most people has many other options to permantely honor a friend ( a film, a short story, a scholarship).

    And what if he is crazy, you don’t have to give up your infatuation. He is still hot.

  3. ratbastard says

    Franco is hot.

    Brad Renfro was a major hottie in his prime. Which is a sad comment considering he died at 25, and was well past his ‘prime’. Maybe that was a big part of his problem.

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