PRLog - Feb. 7, 2012 - NEW YORK -- Groundbreaking works by artist Franco The Great in the Village of Harlem
Franco the Great
“125 Franco's Blvd” Exhibition
Opens February 10, 2012, at Adam Clayton Powell State Office
NEW YORK, February 07, 2012 /- “125 Franco's Blvd”, the exclusive exhibition of Franco Gaskin, better known as "Franco the Great’s" timeless artwork will be showcased this weekend. 125th Franco’s Blvd’ Exhibition will be on view at The Adam Clayton Powell State Office from February 01 through February 29, 2012. Curated by Greg Mills of “International Agency for Minority Artist Affairs (IAMAA), in conjunction with the NYS Office of General Services (OGS)”. The exhibition highlights 25 plus years, of Franco’s early career, from painting the security gates of storefronts on 125th Street to painting on wall murals. His work in Harlem has brought him world renowned recognition from Harlem to France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Caribbean Islands and several African countries. In 1978, Franco took it upon himself to change a negative into a positive by creating a new art form on the steel gates. From then on to present, he has used Sundays, when stores are closed, to paint over 200 gates from the West to the East Side of 125th street." The murals that Franco creates portray his forward-looking philosophy; for example, his very first gate painting is based upon the theme "I must bloom where I am planted." His second gate's theme was "Think Positive".
The event will host a wide array of local Harlem Community leaders such as: Senator Bill Perkins, Assemblyman Keith Wright, Council Woman Inez Dickens, Congressman Charles Rangal, Willie Walker, Curtis Archer, Thomas Lunke, Council Woman Melissa Mark, Vierto, Community Board 10, Community Board 11, Harlems Arts Alliance, Michael Unthank, Voza Rivers, Barbara Askins, 125th Bid Association, 28pct. Commander, celebrities, supporters, and VIPs will join together for a night of exhibition; to help preserve Franco's timeless artwork of the metal gates of storefronts in Harlem.
This event is scheduled to take place Friday, February 10th, 2012, 4 p.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday, February 11th, 2012, 4 p.m.-6 p.m. held at the Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building; Located on 163 West 1125th St., 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10027.
About Franco The Great
At 3 years of age, Franco fell several stories, landing on his head and leaving him in a coma for a month with a swollen head. Everyone seemed to give up hope for Franco, including the doctor who said that all that could be done was to pack his head with ice. His own grandmother ended up in the hospital upon seeing Franco's condition. Because of Franco's disability, hardly anyone paid much attention to him. Franco became an introvert, and was reluctant to attend school. His means of making friends at school was to utilize his artistic skills to draw a schoolmate and thus become his friend. He discovered that his first love was cartooning; he created many characters that became his virtual friends.
At 9 years of age, in order to add additional excitement and create more friends, he started to practice the art of magic. He went to the local Catholic priest to tell him of his desire to develop magic skills. After hours of trying to articulate his needs, the kind priest finally understood Franco and purchased him a book on magic, which Franco has prized to this day. This was Franco's first experience of having someone truly pay attention to him.
The name Franco the Great came about as a result of his talent in the field of magic. Franco became so proficient in his magic skills that his teachers and peers encouraged Franco to show and teach his magic. He gained his confidence in school day by day as he connected with other people and gained new friends.
Another influential person in his life was an artist named Danzig, who tutored Franco for four years, giving him speaking lessons; through Danzig's tuterage Franco gained the confidence needed in order to talk in front of large audiences.
Danzig advised Franco to become entrepreneurial by selling his artwork in order to purchase tools and materials for his magic. At this time Franco was achieving top awards and prizes in art competitions. Franco started having dreams of being a professional artist in New York's Harlem.
Adam Clayton Powell State Office, 163 West 125th street 2nd Fl., New York, NY 10027
Web site: http://www.FrancoTheGreat.com
Open to the Public During Business Hours 9am - 5pm
Admission: FREE ADMISSION Artwork will be on Sale