Wednesday, 26 July 2017

EbookCoverWelcome to the George Quaintance blog. Your hosts, John Waybright and Ken Furtado, are the authors of QUAINTANCE: The Short Life of an American Art Pioneer, the only complete, authoritative biography of Quaintance ever written. Our book fills a cultural, historical and academic void for this seminal 20th century artist. It is packed with photos and available as an ebook at Smashwords, for the low price of $12.99. We are excited to have exclusive access to hundreds of never-published photographs from Quaintance’s personal scrapbooks and family archives. Sadly, John passed away in May 2013, before seeing the book published. We hope you will use this site as a platform to exchange ideas, information and images related to this under-valued artist, as well as to learn more about him. Please send your email to kfurtado@georgequaintance.com.

 

Zaro Rossi as photographed by Dave MartinQuaintance model Zaro Rossi was an Italian Stallion long before Sylvester Stallone made the cheesy 1970 erotic film of that name. Zaro was born in Los Angeles, on Sept. 29, 1934 and became interested in bodybuilding while in his teens. A military veteran, he served in the Air Force, in Korea. Photographer Dave Martin, a master of light and shadow, recorded Zaro's development as a bodybuilder in hundreds of full-frontal nude photos, many of which can be found in a quick Internet search.

Zaro posed for the Quaintance Studio in 1953, for the paintings Sunrise and Sunset. He was still eighteen at the time. He was dark-haired and handsome, 5 feet 8 inches tall and not yet at his peak muscularity.

Sunrise and Sunset paintings by QuaintanceBesides being a Quaintance model, Zaro was also a neighbor. (Zaro was "fingered" later by an email correspondent as one of several alleged persons who looted the Quaintance Studio after George's death, on the pretext of preventing the neighbors and prospective buyers from "finding out about the wild goings on at the house.") His father owned a popular bar, Rossi's Bachelor Pad, located about three miles from the Quaintance Studio. The Rossi family owned several other nearby properties and they resided about a mile from the bar. In 1968, Zaro's parents sold the Bachelor Pad, and today it is a Jack in the Box restaurant.

Zaro Rossi by Quaintance StudioThere's an irony concealed here. In the early stages of my research for the Quaintance biography, I searched far and wide to locate persons who knew George personally, including former models. I even advertised in Phoenix newspapers. Yet just such a person — Zaro Rossi — was then living less than a mile from me, and I never discovered that fact until after he had died.

Zaro Rossi's headstoneZaro died in Phoenix, on Oct. 5, 2005, at age 71, of respiratory failure due to pulmonary fibrosis. His death certificate states that he was a restaurant owner. He was married and divorced, and had two daughters, both of whom lived in Phoenix at the time of their father's death (they may still live here).

Zaro was at his physical best during the heyday of the beefcake era, and we can thank Dave Martin and George Quaintance for preserving so many images of this handsome young man.

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#1 Ennio Amato 2016-09-06 17:31
I met Zaro in 1956 when we were both in the Air Force assigned to an air base in Florida. Zaro and I worked together for one year and then he was transferred to the South Pacific. While in Florida, Zaro spent a lot of time in the gym working to achieve that famous body. After we were discharged, we corresponded for many years and we met again in Phoenix, AZ a year before he passed away. He was still a very handsome man, but had health issues that eventually took his life.
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