Cacho Falcon ( 1978 - )


In 2003, Cacho began selling what he termed “Therapeutic Denim”—jeans custom painted with personal images. Clients brought their denim to Falcon, and as they told him about their life, he rendered their stories and confessions onto the material. These drawings were the beginnings of Falcon’s identity narratives. The drawings also marked the beginning of his dream-like style, which is often situated in a psychological tapestry of private and public spaces, not dissimilar to the urban setting from which Falcon lives and works.

In addition to Falcon’s “Therapeutic Denim”, he began cutting and fitting T-shirts with a similar artistic idea. The custom-made garments displaying unapologetic and individual emblems of experience or identity caught the attention of Perry Ellis, which led Falcon to Fashion Week in 2004. Elle Magazine included one of Falcon’s denim jackets in their pages that December and soon afterwards Falcon designed a one-of-a-kind collection of denim for Guess. In 2005, American Idol winner, Carrie Underwood, wore a pair Falcon’s jeans to the finals.

Despite the attention he received from the fashion industry, Falcon also worked odd jobs and lived in small apartments throughout Brooklyn with other young Paraguayans taking root in New York City. He continued to make custom clothes with a Whilhelmina agent who booked him gigs at various denim stores in malls across America where he drew on clothing for individual customers. While Falcon found this work both interesting and somewhat bleak, he was still largely motivated to make work based on personal experiences.

In 2006 he returned to New York City and decided, for the first time, to devote the majority of his work to painting and drawing his own life experiences and, this time, onto canvas. Here, Falcon was forced to revisit painful childhood and early adult experiences. When he began to paint his own stories—riddled with torment, abuse, addiction, and the failures of past relationships—he was overwhelmed and ashamed by the sight of his own confessions and kept the canvases hidden in a closet away from his friends and roommates. Soon after he would start focusing on other people stories.

He established as a way to show his work and as a means to continue gathering stories from others. Falcon discovered that it was much easier for people to share their dark experiences with a stranger. He received many anonymous emails from people telling their stories of loss, hope, regret, and love, which in combination with his own personal stories, became the basis for a massive collection of drawings and paintings.

Beyonce and Tina Knowles stumbled upon Falcon’s work by accident when one of their staff members was viewing the site. Moved by Falcon’s work and his connection with people, the Knowles family began working with Falcon on a T-shirt collection. In addition, Tina Knowles helped lead Falcon to design the T-Shirt for Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign. While Falcon still enjoys his fashion-based work, he continues to work and show primarily as a painter.

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