James Franco and the Museum of Non-Visible Art


By , Columnist

Say what you will about James Franco's acting but the man is a marketing genius. In collaboration with a conceptual art duo called Praxis, Franco announced his involvement with a new large-scale conceptual art project that sells invisible art.

The Project's acronym is MONA, not to be confused with the Museum of Neon Art or the Museum of Nebraska Art, but rather the Museum of Non-Visible Art. The MONA Kickstarter website (which does exist outside of the conceptual realm) describes the project as the following:

Composed entirely of ideas, the Non-Visible Museum redefines the concept of what is real. Although the artworks themselves are not visible, the descriptions open our eyes to a parallel world built of images and words. This world is not visible, but it is real, perhaps more real than the world of matter, and it is also for sale.

I thought this could be a large-scale prank but judging from James Franco’s bad jokes and appearing utterly bored co-hosting this year’s Oscars, it is obvious he has no sense of humor. Franco endorses the project fully and even contributes his own imaginary art, costumes, sculptures, and films. Franco's "Red Leaves," an imagined short film based on William Faulkner's short story "Red Leaves," shown below, can be purchased from the website for a $25 pledge:


Despite the website's disclaimer, "After contributing real money, buyers will not receive any tangible piece of art and will instead be presented with a written description of their purchase," someone still bought something.

New media producer Aimee Davison liked MONA’s idea, “We exchange ideas and dreams as currency in the New Economy” so much that she dropped $10,000 to purchase a card describing the idea of “Fresh Air.”

The invisible piece is described as:

A unique piece, only this one is for sale. The air you are purchasing is like buying an endless tank of oxygen. No matter where you are, you always have the ability to take a breath of the most delicious, clean-smelling air that the earth can produce. Every breath you take gives you endless peace and health. This artwork is something to carry with you if you own it. Because wherever you are, you can imagine yourself getting the most beautiful taste of air that is from the mountaintops or fields or from the ocean side; it is an endless supply.

Sufferers of emphysema and anyone about to drown, please start queuing up.

Michelangelo once said, “A man paints with his brains and not with his hands," so maybe Praxis and Franco are on to something and I shouldn’t talk of the movement like it is a complete scam. Perhaps I will even give it a try. If anyone is interested in my art for creative people below, I charge $40,000 (OBO) and only accept unmarked 50-dollar bills.


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Holly is a freelance writer and copy editor with a background in journalism and publishing. Like a grandmother's purse, she is about three decades old, worn around the edges and mostly full of crap.

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