The Life of Richard German
George Richard “Dick” German was born in 1936 in a Slovak ghetto of Bridgeport, CT. His parents, both children of migrants, lived next to each other and became childhood sweethearts. As a young child, his parents were divorced, and the young man turned to art to to distract him from his otherwise humble existence.
By the age of 6, German’s talent for art became evident to his mother who insisted he learn to paint while his sister was taught to play the piano. German excelled at fine arts and developed his talent for watercolors through much of his youth.
Enlisting as a Marine, he set out to fight in the Korean War but was lucky enough to miss any over seas battles when the war was declared over while he sailed on his transport ship across the Pacific. He whiled away the remainder of his service with a pen and ink and desire to go to school upon his return to Civilian life.
Back in The States, he attended college at Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne, Indiana where he earned a degree in technical drawing leading to become a draftsman for Perkin Elmer where he met his second wife who would bear him two children. On weekends, German would attend art shows in the coastal Connecticut area while during the week worked on plans for the Hubble telescope.
German focused more and more of time on his art and by 1984 was making an effort to share his work full time when a selection of his work was added to the White House Art Collection under Ronald Reagan.
Living in New Haven, CT German spent much of his time alone painting in a small basement studio in the Fair Haven section of the City, drinking red wine and chain smoking Winston cigarettes. Through the early to mid 1990’s his work developed into a collectible commodity and many sought out to acquire his original paintings, noting their turbulent waters and almost mythical cloud depictions. When asked where he had ever seen such dramatic cloud formations in Nature, he simply replied, “Well that’s the way they look to me.”
While many would have described German as a tortured soul, his work belied this inner turmoil having an exact line quality and mastery of a such an incredibly unforgiving medium such as watercolors. German had a unique ability to command a color stained drop of water and transform it into a work of detail-laden beauty. While his heart chilled from loneliness, his work outlined a passion he yearned to share with the world in his soul.
In February of 1999, German was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. From his death bed he painted his final works with his son and ex-wife beside him. He signed his last paintings from a hospice bed and passed away the next morning on April 29, 1999 leaving a massive collection of art work for the world to cherish.
This website celebrates the work of Richard German and attempts to share the beauty of his work with a new generation of people who may celebrate his talents as we celebrate what was his life.