Ayn Rand's famous architect character is a kind of artistic touchstone for me. Every year I try to depict him in an illustration, hoping to really capture the combination of brilliance and bad-assery of the flame-haired hero of engineering and building. This is the guy that signed an illegal private contract with a mediocre colleague to disguise his work as the colleague's, just to see his building built in its proper details, only to BLOW IT UP when the mediocre colleague compromises under budget and political pressures and deviates from the original ideas and standards. Not only that, Roark gets away with it in a sensational public trial. If I were one of Roark's subsequent clients, I would ask him whether he would demolish our building if I were forced to compromise on the original design. "Yeah, you (expletive deleted), you better believe it. You want your second-hander type of pile, you go find some (expletive deleted) who will design it for you." How to succeed in architecture!
I've often thought of who I would cast in the role. Gary Cooper, who played him in the movie "The Fountainhead," was just too old for the role. We need a manic egomaniac with naturally flame-red hair like a fantasy hero. In his younger days, actor Eric Stolz (who actually played Ayn Rand's lover in "The Passion of Ayn Rand" could play Roark. But Stolz is getting kinda, uh, old now. I am sure there are plenty of guys who could look the part, but would anyone bring the character to life? I await "Fountainhead Comics."
Ink on sketchbook page with one Photoshop orange accent, 3 1/2" x 5", May 2, 2014.