5 celebrities who are also art projects

Shia LaBeouf isn't the only celeb-turned-art piece, but he is probably the least liked

Topics: Shia LaBeouf, James Franco, Kanye West, Michael Cera, Lady Gaga, Tilda Swinton, Celebrity, Art,

In recent weeks, Shia LaBeouf has fought to be taken seriously as an actor art project (and prove that he is famous yet not famous). He is not the first celebrity to attempt to transcend humanity by becoming a work of art, but he is, by far, the least likable of those to do so (that’s what happens when you plagiarize!). Here are five other celebrities who are considerably better at dividing their time between emitting carbon and being a canvas:

Tilda Swinton

When LaBeouf recently set up an art installation in which he sat silently in a room, the world gawked at him. When Tilda Swinton did it last year, she got space at the Museum of Modern Art. People all around the world will pay money to see Tilda Swinton lie down in a box because Tilda Swinton makes good movies. And she doesn’t plagiarize.

James Franco

Whether you hate him, really hate him, or really, really hate him, at some point you’ve got to hand it to James Franco for successfully burrowing himself into your psyche, because he is just everywhere. He is on Instagram, he is in the museum, he is in that book, and that one too, he is in an upcoming movie, he is in that movie you just saw, he is teaching your friend’s class at NYU, he is sleeping while he’s teaching your friend’s class at NYU, he is art and he is not art.

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Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga can wear a meat dress or arrive to the Grammys in style an egg, and we might not understand why, but she adores her little monsters and puts out catchy music year after year … so does it really matter?

Kanye West

Kanye West controls the media, according to Kanye West … and he’s not totally wrong. Everything West does or says is news, and he does and says a LOT. His music video with Kim Kardashian is a moving image homage to Lisa Frank, and he’s testing fans with Confederate Flag apparel just because he knows that he can.

Michael Cera

Michael Cera built his fame on his awkward persona as George Michael in “Arrested Development,” and has been famously awkward pretty much since then. Apparently, that has led to some awkward encounters, like not having any friends to hang out with and begging strangers to hang out with him. So Cera wrote in the “Shouts and Murmurs” piece in the New Yorker, a piece of humor that had much more in common with bizarre performance art than with written comedy.

Prachi Gupta
Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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