A longtime friend, amicable collaborator and likeminded ally in the Boston art scene, Pat Falco has been helping fight the good fight in our often-frustrating cultural scene for over a decade now. Bodega first met Falco back when we were operating the great Fourth Wall Project. At the time Falco was on a meteoric rise to recognition after founding the Lincoln Arts Project. With similar tastes and a kindred vision, Bodega and Falco would go on to work hand-in-hand, quite often, even facilitating and co-creating important socially conscious events like benefits for Puerto Rico and Standing Rock.
Over the years, we’ve had the honor and privilege to watch Falco’s art evolve from cartoon-like portraiture and found objects to his more recent, grandiose public installations that comment on the social injustices of the Boston housing crisis. From stealthy, strategically placed street art to formal gallery exhibits, no matter what his chosen medium, Falco’s art has always been defined by his wry and sardonic wit, provocative use of humor and the strategically placed text and personalized fonts that accompany his work.
In person, Falco is modest, reserved and somewhat shy. And it’s just that type of unassuming character that can bring the Trojan Horse-like power of surprise to an unsuspecting audience… and that’s just what he did this past year. Ending 2019 with an exclamation point, Falco not only created a decoy office headquarters for his intriguing, fake real estate venture, “Luxury Waters,” he also constructed the brazen city-satire, “MOCK,” which involved placing a “full-scale mockup” of the popular three-story houses that litters the local city and suburban landscape. He chose to do it right in the heart of the uber-upscale Seaport District to make his point.
Today Falco runs the Distillery Gallery in South Boston, and with the little time he has left to spare, continues to make a name for himself as a formidable deejay with semi-regular nights at State Park. Much like the many different facets of his art, Falco’s playlist also pays tribute to his wide array of influences and inspirations. From timeless Boston rockers and esoteric indie, to in-the-know 60’s pysch stalwarts, synth pop and the new chairpersons of chillwave. Whether it’s old soul or new lo-fi bedroom rock, post-rock, post-punk or obscure deep cuts from recently rediscovered lost classics, Falco’s selected tracks show a well-informed understanding, and open-minded appreciation of music from both yesterday and today.
Interview with Pat Falco
by Oliver Mak1) You are known as an artist and a curator. When I first met you, you founded the celebrated Lincoln Art Project , and now you currently help run the Distillery Gallery. How many more galleries do you have to run until you are satisfied with imposing your will upon the art world?It was never my intention! I wanted DIY spaces to exist in Boston that were alternative to our institutions and academic "art world". I was fortunate to find myself in a situation where something along those lines was possible, and pop-up shows in a basement snowballed into something a little more legitimate. Given the lack of affordability and opportunities here, it seems rude to not maximize and share spaces like that.2) What lessons did you learn from facilitating exhibitions and curating? How does curation relate your process of making art?It's super inspiring. I've been fortunate to work with a lot of amazing artists doing a lot of unique things -- that's really contributed to my growth and helped shape my practice as an artist. It's similar to having worked in service industry jobs growing up, you learn how to treat people and how not to treat people, and it shows you the kind of person you want to be. The collaborative and organizational aspects of putting a show on are really engrained in my process of making art now.3) Most of your art relies heavily on brilliant use of text- do you have either a secret or public ambition to be a poet, advice columnist, or religious scribe?I think I might have preferred to have been a writer of some kind but I don't have a very good attention span.4) Your recent installations Mock(2019) and Luxury Waters(2017) both examined the housing crisis and the market’s luxury based response.You’re able to convey nuanced concerns about the human condition with equal parts pessimism and optimism. In short, many people, myself included, connect with your art. This isn’t really a question- it’s just a compliment.Haha thank you! I guess that's the goal.5) You also DJ a night with Shane Silverstein from the ICA called People Playing records which prominently features guests from the art/ DIY community. Who have been your favorite guests?It's a good time! My favorite guests are my friends, it's a fun way to hang out and I guess I like my friends.6) Who would be your ideal guest from any time in history (dead / alive/ immortal) & why?That's such a good question! I can't choose just one but I'll settle for Sylvia Plath, Frank Ocean, and Jane Jacobs. The best part of it is to see what creative people, who all have different relationships with music, will put on. I'd love to know what music inspires them, and mostly, I just want to be their friends.7) What are you working on currently?"figuring it out."