Jerry DiFalco, versatile visual artist, printmaker, and poet, dies at 69

Yoshiko Yap

Jerry DiFalco, 69, of Philadelphia, a prolific artist, printmaker, and photographer, who designed a assorted selection of what he known as “visual poetry,” died Wednesday, Sept. 29, of lung disorder at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

Devoted to children, college students, seniors, and others who sought to categorical themselves by way of art and creating, Mr. DiFalco most not too long ago labored as an artistic mentor to professional artists and printmakers at the Fleisher Artwork Memorial in Philadelphia.

About his very long occupation as a painter, sculptor, printer, and poet, Mr. DiFalco established hundreds of his personal parts, marketed them in the United States and abroad, and confirmed his work at hundreds of exhibitions and galleries.

His artworks, numerous of which are 3-dimensional assemblages that attribute vivid colors and arresting visuals, may well be viewed on various YouTube videos and are accompanied by explanations of how he established them. He termed his early crafting “surrealistic poetry” and was encouraged in his visible art by architecture, historical past, faith, folklore, and ancient tradition.

He wrote in a short on line biography that he required “viewers to see over and above the regular into the incredible by using scenes and objects from working day-to-working day encounter.”

Absurdity was also a single of his muses. The Previous Rooster Meal is his rendition of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Very last Supper, and it depicts chickens at the table alternatively of people today.

“Humor is the most important factor in my function,” Mr. DiFalco explained to The Inquirer in 1987. “It is just my reaction to trends in artwork getting so staunchy.”

Irreverent, outspoken, and intellectual, as properly as innovative and compassionate, Mr. DeFalco generally joined his artwork to human emotion and conduct via what he known as “imagery and story line.”

“I believe that art unveils every little thing that we mask guiding our assumptions and biases … or relatively, those realms we neglect — or refuse — to perceive,” he wrote on his Saatchi Artwork webpage.

He worked for a time as a museum curator, and lectured school college students and artists about grant-writing, fund-increasing, and marketing. He was known in his younger days for attending artwork shows in funky tuxedos and with spiky hair sprayed silver. He explained to The Inquirer in 1992 that he required to “leave anything when I’m useless.”

“I want persons 200, 300 many years from now to know who I was and what my statement is,” he explained. “I want to help evolve the human race through natural beauty. Or through anger. I want to go away a mark on the entire world. So when I’m dead, component of me is continue to there.”

Born Sept. 26, 1952, and raised in Camden, Mr. DiFalco earned a bachelor’s diploma in visual wonderful artwork at Rutgers College in 1974 and a master’s degree in arts administration at Drexel University in 1985. He lived and worked in San Diego, New York, and Madrid, Spain, right before settling in Philadelphia in the early 1970s.

For almost 40 years, he suffered from — and made regardless of — continual agony thanks to degenerative disk illness, irregular irritation and nerve dysfunction, rheumatoid arthritis, and the end result of solutions for follicular lymphoma and thyroid cancer.

“I’m always contemplating of how these adjustments in my entire body have contributed to my artwork,” he explained in a 2016 on line interview with the Einstein Healthcare Network.

He achieved his partner, Ron Funk, in the early 1970s, and together they appreciated new music, creating, and reading through.

“Jerry loved artwork in all its sorts,” Funk stated. “Going to his studio was his lifetime. He was generally so upbeat, and he desired to make a distinction in people’s life.”

In addition to Funk, Mr. DiFalco is survived by other kinfolk. A sister died before.

A memorial services is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 6, at the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, 13 S. 38th St.

Donations in his name might be built to the artwork and tunes office of the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, 3717 Chestnut St., Suite 200, Philadelphia, Pa. 19104 and the Fleisher Artwork Memorial, 719 Catharine St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19147.

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