By Dominique Jando
El Gran Picaso, who was a major circus star in Europe in the 1960s and '70s, and popularized "mouth juggling" with ping-pong balls. Although his father taught him to juggle at an early age, Francisco thought he was too shy to be a performer. Therefore, he chose to attend college, and earned a degree in economics. He later spent some time in the military—which is when, as a hobby, he began honing his juggling skills.
When a small circus owned by friends of his family came to perform near the base where he was stationed, Francisco show them his juggling routine for the fun of it, but to his surprise, they offered him a job on the spot. Realizing that he couldn't escape his circus heritage, he embarked on a brilliant career with an act reminiscent of his father's, though with a more contemporary touch.
Picaso Jr.—as Francisco was known—had been featured in Europe's major circuses and variety theaters. He had also appeared in the United States at the Big Apple Circus in 2004-05 and 2009-10. He was awarded a Silver Clown at the International Circus Festival of Monte Carlo in 2002. In 2015, he participated in the Idol Festival at the Bolshoi Circus in Moscow. Picaso, Jr. held a Guinness World Records for flashingIn juggling, the act of juggling objects in a move that is sustained for only a very short time. four ping-pong balls with his mouth.
Sadly, Picaso, Jr. passed away in Sptember 2017, a most untimely death for this exuberant and popular juggler who still had a brilliant career in front of him.
- Video: Picaso Jr., juggler, in the Big Apple Circus production of Picturesque (2004)
- Video: Picaso Jr., juggler, in the Big Apple Circus production of Bello is Back! (2009)
- Video: Picaso Jr., juggler, at the Bolshoi Circus in Moscow (2014)