Who was Larry Rothbort?

By Marcina Zaccaria ,

Artist Larry Rothbort was something of a phenomenon. Born in 1920, Rothbort’s deeply expressionistic work resonated with fans.

While many artists feel free to create the paintings from photographs, Rothbort took time out of his studio to paint. According to David’s Art Expo, he was often found painting in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and preferred to directly go outdoors and see the landscapes he was working with.

Rothbort was self-trained and would grind his own paints. He also painted with sticks, as he could not afford brushes, according to Robert Doak Colors. He often combined oil paints and glass mosaics and was likened to Vincent Van Gogh.

In 1963, Rothbort was murdered in his Brooklyn studio. A man killed Rothbort because he refused to give him the $15 he had for groceries.

Rothbort’s wife, also an artist, composed a sketch of the murderer. The sketch was published in Brooklyn Eagle, and the murderer was caught and brought to justice.

Rothbort left behind his pregnant wife and two young children. After he died, a memorial exhibit was held at the Riverside Museum.

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