Back­stage Se­crets: Pri­vate Col­lec­tion

Meet the team re­spon­si­ble for creat­ing Franco’s dis­tinc­tive art­work!

ABC Soaps In Depth - - News -

When watch­ing GEN­ERAL HOSPI­TAL, it’s easy to for­get that ev­ery sin­gle de­tail that ap­pears on screen has been planned. From the bowl of fruit on El­iz­a­beth’s counter to the books on Sonny’s cof­fee ta­ble, noth­ing is ran­dom. So when Franco re­turned from New York City with many of the paint­ings he cre­ated years ago, we couldn’t help won­der­ing who the real artist re­spon­si­ble for the dis­tinc­tive pieces might be!

“It is re­ally a col­lab­o­ra­tive, creative process in­volv­ing the writ­ers — with the orig­i­nal con­cept — our ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer, Frank Valen­tini, and then my dis­cus­sion and rough sketches with our team of scenic artists,” the soap’s art di­rec­tor, Jen­nifer El- li­ott, tells Soaps In Depth. “Be­lieve it or not, each paint­ing is painstak­ingly planned — col­ors are agreed upon, sub­ject mat­ter is dis- cussed, and type of medium, as well as size, is de­cided.”

Sto­ry­linewise, Franco hasn’t been do-

ing much paint­ing since he had his brain tu­mor re­moved. But view­ers will re­call that back when the char­ac­ter was por­trayed by James Franco, he was not only paint­ing on can­vases but leav­ing his dis­tinc­tive “tag” — CO77X — on any­thing that didn’t move. When Roger Howarth’s Franco re­turned to the can­vas ear­lier this sum­mer and be­gan un­pack­ing his al­ter ego’s re­claimed paint­ings, they were in­spired by the orig­i­nal pieces used.

“Those were done years ago by a very tal­ented artist in our shop,” El­liott re­veals. “Un­for­tu­nately, that artist is now re­cov­er­ing from surgery, and, as we needed to cre­ate more of this Franco art, we had to bring in new artists. Luck­ily, they are all very tal­ented and im­me­di­ately im­mersed them­selves in the style and spirit of this kind of avant-garde art!”

James Franco’s ver­sion of Franco cre­ated some paint­ings that were as twisted as the char­ac­ter was back then.

Art in­fil­trates life: Franco’s paint­ings are again play­ing as big a role in his sto­ry­line as any char­ac­ter.

CO77X turned out to be the ID num­ber on Franco’s mug shot fol­low­ing a long-ago ar­rest.

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