I believe artists are our conscience, the teachers of society. The best artists have the ability to go deep within themselves to bring up the treasures, usually in the form of questions, which form a blueprint for a meaningful life. As an artist, I am always looking for ways to bring meaning and clarity into the world, to use my God given talent to inquire and to edify. So I share my journey, finding and expressing insight any way I can, to whoever is willing to engage in our shared human journey. I do this through my painting, my writing, my acting/directing, my music and my teaching.
My goal as a visual artist, a painter, is to explore the full range of my medium, which is light. I have developed several bodies of work exploring a variety of structures and subjects, but the poetry of light on form keeps coming back into my work. Light is the force which reveals the subtleties of nature, particularly the human condition, revealing what it means to be human in our journey toward the light. This journey toward the light is a theme which runs through all my work. We are all on a journey of survival, to make the best of what we are given. My purpose as an artist is to find and celebrate the many creative ways humans find to overcome and grow as a result of this journey.
For instance, I am currently developing a series of paintings called The Quench Project from my vision trip to Haiti in November 2014. Also, I am continuing my Faces of the Lowcountry series of paintings, which is an exploration of the joy and tenacity of the Gullah people as they continue to define and celebrate their identity, a cultural symbol of survival and abundant hope for all people. I also have been into an Iconic Charleston Series, which is all about what makes my home of Charleston so magical for me. I also explore, more generally, the genres of landscape and still life.
Another body of work, consisting of highly chromatic figurative renderings, called Chromo Sapient, is intended to push the envelope of color, while maintaining the chiaroscuro – the illusion of light on form. Expressive realism may be my dharma but I have also recently begun to explore the possibilities of narrative and poetry using color and light to transport the viewer of my work into another realm of reality. I am also the doppelganger of NETI, who is that he is not.
Robert Maniscalco is also a national award winning portrait artist. Though well known for his portraits Robert’s fine art has been exhibited widely and can be found in over 850 private and public collections throughout the United States and Canada.
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