Yale University

In Memoriam

Roland Mochary

Roland Mochary
1964 graduation

Roland died in October 1999 from cardiomyopathy. Roland entered Yale with the Class of 1963 but graduated with our class. Ian Robertson '63 offered a warm and admiring appreciation of his good friend, in which he said that Roland "was consumed by art. He has left behind a vast treasure of sketchbooks, drawings, paintings, and sculpture prized by the cognoscenti. A twinkle has vanished from our firmament."

Remembrance by Jeremy Wood '64

read at our 40th Reunion
June 4, 2004

Zorba came upon an old man planting an apricot seedling and asked why he, an old man, was planting a new tree. "I live as though I would never die," was his reply.

"And me, I live as though I might die tomorrow," said Zorba, "which one of us is right?"

Roland Paul Mochary, aka "Moch" as I knew him at Yale Architecture School, lived his life big, bold and loud.

He was a party animal often given to kicking up his heels a la Zorba, fueled by retsina and moving more like a force of nature, a mischievous dancing bear who greeted unsuspecting friends with rough bone-crunching hugs and/or bruising tweaks on the cheeks.

Yet Moch was capable of some of the most delicate renderings, the best designs and models produced by our class, a rare "natural talent".

Roland Mochary,
Yale School of
Spring 1966

Moch departed architecture school after two years. I lost track of him until he reappeared at our Twentieth Reunion, now as an artist, a creator of paintings and whimsical sculptures.

Peter Dominick, Class of 1963, Moch's roommate and old friend, puts it as follows:

"Moch was a brilliant original thinker, a gifted artist, a great lover of women and life. He had no tolerance for convention and as such he remained free of much of society's restraints. He was loved by his friends, charmed us all in one way or another with his insights, his humor, and his irreverence, but mostly by his art ― work that reverberated with joy, humor and a natural gift to communicate."

Remembrance by Peter Dominick '63

Jeremy Wood '64 reports a 5/17/04 email from Peter Dominick '63 regarding Roland Mochary's"life in art" in New York City and Montclair, New Jersey. The following are excerpts from Peter's account, with Jeremy's clarifications in square brackets. Following the excerpts are photographs of four sculptures by Roland, all dating from 1983.

"... I saw him [Moch] in early 1973-4 and he seemed happy/together and still very much the child ... returned to the East Coast , and took being an artist as his path ...

"He came under the mentorship of [the painter] Knox Martin who taught at Yale and then for many years at the New York Art Students League ...

"Moch always drew like an angel ... His sketchbooks are numerous and spectacular ... He also sculpted, some serious David-Smith-like pieces / painted steel ... always with a sense of humor however ... He painted portraits. He said of a portrait that first it had to be a great painting, then it had to describe the sitter as he/she was, is, and will become ... whether Dorian Gray emerged or not depended on his moods ..."

Of Moch's basement studio space (at his brother Steven's house in Montclair, NJ), Peter commented:

"It was always a thrill to visit / to see the work in all its forms ... drawings/paintings and his sculptures, many interpretations of mounted heads ... elephants and crocodiles and camels/snakes and rabbits ... a Noah's ark of animals made from refrigerator parts / welded corrugated pipe / expanded metals / plastic hoses ... you name it ... funny / poignant work."

Blackbird -- The Fourteenth Way

Golden Girl

Last American Hero

Weldus Metalus