Backstage Secrets: Private Collection
Meet the team responsible for creating Franco’s distinctive artwork!
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.