Golden Boy

Golden Boy, (approx.) 44" x,60",  acrylic on canvas

I spent a portion of the years 1978 to 1980 translating my pen and ink drawings into colorful acrylic paintings. Using flat colors and limited pallets I mostly scaled the paintings up to nearly 4' x 6', making the most of the large studio space I created from a second story chicken coop behind my house. At first I didn’t use an easel; instead, I would fasten a two by four from the floor to a ceiling joist and anchor a prepared canvas to the vertical beam.

“Golden Boy” was one of the first in the short series, followed by “Portrait of My Parents”, “The Musicians”, and a portrait of me painting a portrait of a friend, Vaughn Stadtmiller.

When I left my home early in 1981, I left a few of the larger paintings hanging on the walls, and didn't move them until after my ex-wife passed away in 2002, when my daughter was in the act of selling the house. I had nowhere to house them, and asked a friend if I could store a few of the paintings in the basement of his print shop. I didn’t intend to leave them there, but after many years the printer discontinued his business and found four paintings to be missing. The basement wasn't locked from the rest of the building and many people passed through rented areas, and although he apologized for them having them stolen, I knew that he had helped me out, and that I would have to accept the loss.

In the winter of 2020, I got a call from a stranger who asked me if I was George Rothacker and that he wanted to know if I was the artist of three paintings in his possession. He described the first two, and I knew he had the missing works, but I didn't‘t want to scare him off, realizing that he might have received the paintings under a variety of circumstances. He said he had an offer on them, but wanted to know if they were real paintings or prints, so he could tell the prospective buyer about the origins. When I told him they were stolen, he got a bit defensive, but said he didn't want to deal with stolen property.

My answer was, “I don’t know where you got them, but will you take $200 for them?”

He answered, “If they are yours I don’t want any money for them.”

I countered with, “If you have a way of getting them to my storage facility, I will pay $200 cash for the delivery.”

That being said, he lived up to his agreement and I met him at the shed. Two of the paintings, “Golden Boy” and “Portrait of my Parents” had water damage on their edges, but I figured I could restore them later and was glad to get them back.

“Golden Boy” was one of my favorites from this period and reflected on both my personal and business life in that I was living in a diverse neighborhood in Media, my daughter had recently been born, and I had been employed as a manager for a group of African Americans who I liked very much, but could feel a distance from them until they brought their friends to a party at my studio and we bonded culturally over music, dancing and lots of wine.

The color scheme was dictated by a circus poster in a book I had found  in an Encore store downtown, and the two white girls, the mother and her son. were found in other historical references I had collected over time.

The unrestored painting  will be at the Community Art Center closing exhibition on October 9th. If anyone wishes to purchase it, I will personally restore it.

Don’t miss George Rothacker’s retrospective exhibition of “Rock Legends” from 2016-2019, and pen & ink drawings and colorful canvases from the 1970s-1980s. Click here to schedule your COVID-19-safe time slot October 9 between 5:00 pm and 8:00 pm.
Prints of the painting restored electronically are available below at a reduced price. Only 50 signed, titled and numbered giclées will be produced on archival paper sized 17" x 22" and available at $60 ea. 

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