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

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

Devoted to small children, students, seniors, and some others who sought to specific on their own via artwork and writing, Mr. DiFalco most not too long ago labored as an artistic mentor to skilled artists and printmakers at the Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia.

About his long job as a painter, sculptor, printer, and poet, Mr. DiFalco designed hundreds of his individual items, marketed them in the United States and abroad, and confirmed his do the job at hundreds of exhibitions and galleries.

His artworks, several of which are three-dimensional assemblages that attribute vivid hues and arresting photographs, might be viewed on numerous YouTube films and are accompanied by explanations of how he produced them. He known as his early writing “surrealistic poetry” and was inspired in his visual artwork by architecture, record, religion, folklore, and historic society.

He wrote in a quick on-line biography that he wished “viewers to see over and above the standard into the amazing by means of scenes and objects from working day-to-day expertise.”

Absurdity was also 1 of his muses. The Final Hen Supper is his rendition of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Final Supper, and it depicts chickens at the table instead of individuals.

“Humor is the most significant matter in my do the job,” Mr. DiFalco explained to The Inquirer in 1987. “It is just my reaction to developments in artwork being so staunchy.”

Irreverent, outspoken, and intellectual, as effectively as artistic and compassionate, Mr. DeFalco usually linked his art to human emotion and actions by means of what he termed “imagery and tale line.”

“I think that art unveils every thing that we mask powering our assumptions and biases … or alternatively, all those realms we neglect — or refuse — to perceive,” he wrote on his Saatchi Art webpage.

He labored for a time as a museum curator, and lectured university students and artists about grant-writing, fund-raising, and internet marketing. He was identified in his more youthful times for attending art displays in funky tuxedos and with spiky hair sprayed silver. He instructed The Inquirer in 1992 that he required to “leave anything when I’m dead.”

“I want individuals 200, 300 several years from now to know who I was and what my assertion is,” he explained. “I want to assist evolve the human race by means of magnificence. Or through anger. I want to depart a mark on the earth. So when I’m useless, portion of me is nonetheless there.”

Born Sept. 26, 1952, and lifted in Camden, Mr. DiFalco gained a bachelor’s diploma in visible fine artwork at Rutgers University in 1974 and a master’s degree in arts administration at Drexel College in 1985. He lived and worked in San Diego, New York, and Madrid, Spain, prior to settling in Philadelphia in the early 1970s.

For almost 40 years, he endured from — and produced regardless of — serious discomfort due to degenerative disk sickness, abnormal inflammation and nerve dysfunction, rheumatoid arthritis, and the final result of treatments for follicular lymphoma and thyroid cancer.

“I’m often contemplating of how these adjustments in my entire body have contributed to my artwork,” he mentioned in a 2016 on the net job interview with the Einstein Health care Community.

He satisfied his companion, Ron Funk, in the early 1970s, and with each other they loved music, producing, and looking through.

“Jerry liked artwork in all its kinds,” Funk said. “Going to his studio was his daily life. He was normally so upbeat, and he required to make a distinction in people’s life.”

In addition to Funk, Mr. DiFalco is survived by other relations. A sister died previously.

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

Donations in his identify may possibly be made to the artwork and new music 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.