About the artist


Since 1980, Robert Maniscalco’s exquisite commissioned portraits and fine art have become part of over 850 distinguished private and public collections throughout North America. To know about the artist, you must understand Robert’s painting method is built on the classical painting traditions of Rembrandt, Velazquez, Hals and Sargent.  Like these artists, Robert explores the use of light and shadow as a means of creating mood and achieving character expressively in his subjects. Born in Detroit in 1959, he is the son of internationally renowned portrait artist Joseph Maniscalco, with whom he apprenticed during the early 1980’s. He moved to New York City in 1986 where, in addition to his fine art, he also worked as an actor and director on numerous stage, film and TV projects. He returned to Detroit in 1997, after a three year portrait residency in New Orleans. In Detroit he founded the Maniscalco Gallery, which showcased many local and international artists. As host of Art Beat, the critically acclaimed and popular PBS series on Detroit Public Television, he explored the creative process with his celebrated guests. He has created two DVDs on painting portraits, called The Power of Positive Painting and published a novel called The Fishfly, a semi-autobiography about the artist and his struggle to resolve his dark past.  Though his creative muse has taken many forms he has discovered a common thread which connects them all together. Robert speaks to the basic need we all share to communicate aesthetically about the human condition, particularly the celebration of man’s capacity to overcome great struggle. See his artist statement Point of Art


He shares his remarkable path toward personal and professional growth and creative self-expression in his book, Point of Art. In addition to his exquisite portrait art, Robert has created several bodies of work, including Faces of China, Italia, and a series of pastels on velour entitled Chromo Sapient. He continues working on a series of Faces of the Lowcountry, featuring the Gullah Giche people and the Carolina Lowcountry and a series called, Iconic Charleston. He has been focusing on a new series called, The Quench Project, in which he is traveling to Haiti and producing paintings, a documentary short and a companion book, expressing the Haitian struggle with obtaining fresh water. TQP is in partnership with Watermission. Recently, Robert has expanded to doing courtroom sketching, covering the Dylann Roof trial of 2017.

He is also the Doppelganger of the artist, NETI, “who is that he is not.”
Robert has written and performed in a new play, called Vincent John Doe, asking “what if Vincent Van Gogh somehow shows up in our time.” VJD was part of the Piccolo Spoletto 2018 and 2019 Festivals.

Robert currently lives in Charleston, South Carolina where he continues his mission with his amazing wife Cate – Check out Cate’s bio and their amazing love story!-  and his two wonderful children, Danny and Mary. Also, take a look at Robert’s Christian testimony.

Short Bio

Robert has been a professional creative all his adult life. Born in 1959 in Detroit, he has lived in New York, New Orleans and currently in Charleston. His commission portraits and fine art are part of over 950 collections throughout North America. In Detroit he hosted Artbeat on PBS and founded the Maniscalco Gallery. As an artist, he likes to work in series or missions. He also is well known for his commission portraits. His most recent mission was The Quench Project, in which he traveled to Haiti, producing several paintings, documentary short, along with a companion book (Quench), juxtaposing the Haitian struggle with obtaining fresh water against our society’s materialistic obsession. He is also an actor, writer and teacher, currently an Adjunct Professor in fine art and theatre at Charleston Southern University. Recently, Robert expanded his creative milieu to include courtroom sketching, covering the Dylann Roof and Michael Slager trials.

His original play, Vincent John Doe, received its world premiere during the 2018-19 Piccolo Spoletto Festival.