Richard Boies Stark brings to his line and wash drawings and watercolors the same technical skill and sensitivity that gained him recognition as one of the world’s most distinguished reconstructive plastic surgeons. Since his retirement from the medical profession he has devoted all of his time to a successful career in art, which over the years, has continued to bring him critical and popular acclaim.
Attention to meticulous detail and unabashed fluid line immediately distinguishes Richard Stark’s style as totally original. Although well known for his pen and ink drawings, he often includes the use of more color. Delicate wash tones and pure watercolor add a dimension to his landscapes and cityscapes, yet the underlying force of all these works remains the quality of the drawing. And here is where Richard Stark excels most brilliantly.
The subjects of this fine and perceptive artist are culled from his travels at home and to faraway places around the world. Whether capturing the charm of a row of New York townhouses, a bustling river community in Bangkok, the canals of Venice, or the native villages of Barbados, the artist brings to his work a natural understanding of people and a keen awareness for observing the world around him. Both of these qualities are reflected in his compositions.
A lifetime member of the Art Students League in New York City, Richard Stark had his first one-man show in 1947 at the Santa Barbara Gallery in California. His solo exhibition at Wally Findlay Galleries in New York in 1981 established him in the mainstream of contemporary art. In 1986 he was accorded the honor of having an exhibition at New York’s prestigious Century Club.
In his dual role as surgeon and artist, Richard Stark spent over a decade of his vacation time working in developing countries. For one month a year from 1964 to 1971 he performed reconstructive surgery on war casualties in South Vietnam. His volunteer services were recognized by the Republic of Vietnam who awarded him the Medal of Honor on two occasions – in 1967 and again in 1969.
Richard Stark is a former professor of Clinical Surgery, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, and founder of the Plastic Surgery Department at St. Luke’s Hospital in New York City which he chaired for thirty years. He has been president of ten prestigious professional groups including the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and Medico/Care.
Dr. Stark is the author of six books, among them Total Facial Reconstruction published in 1985. He also has edited the most definitive book on plastic surgery of the head and neck which was published in 1986. Richard Stark was also editor of Annals of Plastic Surgery and has been visiting professor to six American universities as well as two in South America.
Richard Stark has received the Bronze Star, and was made Caballero, Order of San Carlos (Columbia, South America), for his pioneer reconstruction of the total face of burned patients; Berlin’s Dieffenbach Medal; and “for distinguished services rendered to humanity” the Gold Medal from the National Institute of Social Sciences.