Franco is known for his mythical paintings on the roll-up metal gates of 125th Street stores. It is easy to locate him on Sundays, surrounded by tourists, selling prints of his paintings and signing autographs.
Not many people are aware that, for years, Franco has decorated numerous shop windows for Christmas. Cold weather, arthritis, and difficulty walking are not enough to keep this “international” artist—as his work shirt reads—from bringing life to the windows of Harlem.
Although he has been Harlem’s ambassador and is known the world over, Franco goes entirely unnoticed before the crowds passing by. Only a few call out to him, “Franco the Great!”
Warming his hands as best he can as he looks for just the right color, Franco is a serious and meticulous artist as devoted as ever to his work—at 84 years of age.