Fine Art Testimonials


Huge Admirer of Your Work

I just wanted to let you know that I have already gotten so much out of our sessions. I see much improvement in my paintings and my drawings. I see more than I did before meeting with you. I realize I need to slow down (way down) and focus on every foundational element you have taught me one step at a time. Thank you so much for your time and accommodations, it is exactly what I need! I am a huge admirer of your work, especially “Quench.” I am excited to learn from you as an artist. I enjoy exploring your studio work as well as your website. Sarah Harris

Sarah Harris

Proud to Own

I’m proud to own the original of what I consider one of Rob’s most inspired paintings.William Giovan
William Giovan

America’s Best

I regard Rob Maniscalco’s art as some of America’s best! His portraiture is some of the most animated, alive creations I have ever seen. When I look into the eyes of his people, I feel that I can read them and their “lives,” as if they were standing in front of me in the flesh! He has a rare gift, and I am privileged to have his work in my library! I must also add that I am proud to share his genuine concern for the welfare of world humanity and its destiny which is so evident in his art! Rob Litchfield
Rob Litchfield

Quench Challenges the Reader

Quench challenges the reader to experience a very unfamiliar and risky trip to Haiti, to help with the fresh water supply. The author provides us with visuals and thought provoking words in a way selfdom seen. It was not an easy trip, but one with immeasurable rewards. This book deserves the highest rating on any scale. — Diane Owensby

Diane Owensby

A Wonderful Program

Just like art, we view certain things differently. How you see it, or how I see it, may be totally different. I will give you a perfect example of what I mean, and it has nothing to do with politics. When I was in 8th grade we spent a semester of poetry. We each had to stand up and give our interpretation of a certain poem. From my reading I got hope and beauty….yea right! Teacher said it is about death. I asked, “did the author say it was about death?” “NO, he is dead.”  I said “then we really do not know what he was trying to convey. I saw beauty, you see death.” Was he wrong, was I wrong?  I got a D-.  Next year I was published in Poetry, and became a member of the debate team.

I have seen your work and your father’s, to me not only beautiful, but interesting, it conveys one message to me that might be totally different for the next person. I loved you coming to do a presentation of your work, when I was President of the Artist Guild, you give a wonderful program, interesting, talented, and nothing run of the mill. — Debra McKinley

Debra McKinley

My Heart is Truly Full

Just a thankful “Thank you.” I have my grandson’s portrait on my table inside my foyer of my home. I love this little guy more. It will be hard for me to send it to my daughter now, lol. Thank you Robert! My heart is truly full! I shall remember you as a “knight in shining armor!” The way you paint reminds me of that era, for some reason. Your talent is truly amazing. — Maureen Gonzalez

Maureen Gonzalez

Master Artist

I feel honored to know Robert Maniscalco, the master artist featured in this very recent television interview. We met and became friends through our common interest in the federal capital trial of Dylann Roof. I was researching a book and Maniscalco had been commissioned by media for visual depictions of the defendant and courtroom scenes during that trial in which photos and video of the proceedings were forbidden. Watching this interview with Maniscalco will also enable you to view some of his most consequential works of art. Bravo, Rob.* Your approach to the creation of art is as impressive as the incredible works you produce. — David Gillespie

David Gillespie

Directional Brushstrokes


Review of “Procession” and Robert’s solo show “Quench” at the Grosse Pointe Art Center (1-13-22 to 3-26-22) (GP War Memorial, 32 Lakeshore Blvd), by Donald Cronkhite

Robert’s overall #painting #style is based on #allaprima, in which #paint is applied #wetonwet, rather than waiting for previous #layers to #dry. This #representative style of painting allows him to paint at a faster pace, usually in one #sitting, while still retaining the #modeling and #appearance of his #figures through the #juxtaposition of #color #values, color #intensity, and the use of #light. Notice in this example, the #rich #cool colors in the #background #complement the #warm #pinks worn by the figure in the foreground.
Robert #expresses #mood through the suggestion of #details in some places, while leaving out those that are unnecessary and direct the #eye throughout the #composition. This #device is also used to convey #depth, as the details in the foreground are much #sharper and more #colorful than the suggested #buildings on the #shoreline across the #water. Another #tool for #moving the eye is directional brushstrokes. In #Procession, we see the brush strokes of the #clothing and the water all #leading to the #central figure, also indicative of #movement and #wind.
Donald Cronkhite

Fanciful Ride

A Father's Love

A Father’s Love

Like An actor who might emote for the camera; here, Maniscalco’s work is a fanciful ride. His mastery of color delights the viewer. Pure joy. I highly recommend a visit to this show.  Dr. Joe Ales

Joe Ales

Deep and Compelling

As an artist, Rob’s work is deep and compelling. Not only does decades of dedication and practice show up in his work, but the influence of his father, also a nationally known artist, is visible in his work. His multi-talents in various avenues add to everything he creates. Each work of art, writing, or performance is informed by dimensions of expression and sensitivity. His work is certainly to increase in value with the years simply due to his renown for contributing to many cultural activities. From serving as artist in residence to author, to artist, and teacher. This piece in particular shows the depth and the thought-provoking elements of each piece. This well-worn watcher of the sea so speaks to me of life’s journey.

Pamela McCalister

Amazing and Scary


Light by Robert Maniscalco

I find this painting particularly amazing as well as scary. The earth, our home, a delicate blue ball, adrift in a universe full of stars, surrounded by, unfortunately, people with bad intentions or selfish needs, who have no idea of its frailty and impermanence. One stupid lighted match, or many, just might end our sojourn here. I don’t feel this fragility all the time, but this painting brings it home, all too seriously. The depiction of the Earth and our galaxy is masterful.

Marilyn Thomas

Naturalness of the face


I really like this painting. I can’t think of fancy words to describe why. I like the face. I like the casual way the hair is painted and the naturalness of the face. I like the way the woman is placed on one side of the canvas. The placement is simple but unique. I feel like it was painted in a calm mood and it makes me feel calm.

Kay Maniscalco

Evolution and Range

I met Robert back in 1998 at one of his exhibitions at the Maniscalco Gallery. Robert was already a very talented painter, but it’s truly incredible to see the evolution and range of his work over the years. I think 2022 will be the year that I finally commission Robert to paint my portrait, one in a good old fashioned regal southern style! I have the perfect spot for it in my den! C. Aldo

Christian Aldo

Recommend Collecting

I’m a proud owner of Irises #3 an original by Rob Maniscalco and it is such a joy to see daily. One of more to come, I highly recommend collecting this fine artist.  Michael Prent
Michael Prent

Heart of Soul

stephen Holmes (1992-2021)You are a very talented artist Rob. Art takes an even greater depth when influenced from the heart or soul. 🎨💙  Michele Raab Stroh
Michele Raab Stroh

Makes Me Gasp

“Quench” at GPAC

Congratulations! Your art makes me gasp it is so great!!! Dawn Mears

Dawn Mears

A True Master


“Quench” at GPAC

I went to see Rob Maniscalco’s exhibition at the War Memorial in Grosse Pointe. Walking through the gallery, I noticed his paintings are varied in subject, style and color palette. As I stood in front of each individual painting, they drew me in. I was immersed in each as an individual experience. As an artist, I noticed every single brushstroke in full vibrant color and texture, but they come together to create a realistic style. Each painting has its own personality, whether it’s a landscape or portrait, and you want to explore it more. His brushstrokes are meticulously placed without hesitation, a trait of a confident painter – a true master, which Rob is. His show stayed with me, long after leaving it, because his paintings made a real connection. – Frits Hoendervanger


Frits Hoendervanger

Mastery of Brushstroke

I met Rob Maniscalco in 2004, when he hosted Art Beat Detroit, a local weekly PBS series that was broadcast on WTVS Public Television.  In 36 episodes that ran from 2003 to 2005, Rob introduced and profiled Detroit-based artists in their studios. I was one of his interviewees in 2004, when I had a studio in the 4731 Gallery building northwest of downtown.

As an art show host, his manner seemed a bit odd to me, kind of offbeat, like a showman’s.  It was the very opposite of what I had expected given my early exposure to PBS artists Bill Alexander (The Magic of Oil Painting, 1974-1982) and Bob Ross (The Joy of Painting, 1983-1994). While I never really was impressed by their work, they did define for me the manner in which I thought TV artists should conduct themselves. Not Rob. As with his art, Rob had his own approach.

I did know that Rob was a practicing artist but was unaware that he also had had formal training as an actor, director and playwright. Looking back, I would say that that served him well as an entertainment host for a TV show about artists, each of whom had their own quirks and uniquenesses. As I learned more about him, in particular about Rob the artist, my first impression faded…not entirely; His wit, puns and penchant for surprise continue to amuse, for I, too, have acting, writing and directing within my artistic repertoire.

What I discovered about Rob is that before much formal training, his father, portrait artist Joseph Maniscalco, provided formable lessons in their unique style of painting. Joseph was schooled in the (Frank) Reilly Method, which emphasized a value-based palette. His ability to render also was steeped in the traditions of Rembrandt, Velazquez, Hals and Sargent. So, it is not surprising that color or hue is inherent in the signature Rob Maniscalco style today. When you look at a Maniscalco painting, father’s or son’s, the influences are apparent in how light and form are used to create mood or in revealing a subject’s character.  Another inherent aspect of a Maniscalco portrait or in other work even of animals is the detail within the subject’s eyes, a reveal of the soul it is often said.

Rob, the actor/painter describes himself as an Expressive Realist, no doubt drawing (pun intended) from both art and theatre backgrounds. Every artist is categorized one way or another, so I guess his descriptor is as fitting as any other. Simply put, in all genres of landscape, figure, and still-life, I would summarize Rob’s work as a blend of amorphous, colorful backgrounds with distinctly rendered subjects and foregrounds: simultaneously expressive and realistic, with an employ of strong side-lighting to define and render shapes. He is not timid when it comes to laying on the paint evidencing his mastery of brushstroke and use of impasto.

I believe that artists must be willing to leave what they know and attempt to push forward, to explore and extend their knowledge yet not having to surrender what they’ve accomplished or achieved.  While doing what he knows best – portraits – Rob is unafraid to step out from what he excels at, to express in paint in multiple ways. Even in his quasi-Daliesque/surreal works or pure abstractions, the Expressive/Realist will tell a story, or present his point of view, or manifest an emotion based in the Maniscalco tradition.

The 32 pieces in his exhibition, “Quench,” on view through March 26, at the Grosse Pointe (Mich.) Artists Association, retrospectively demonstrate his lingering thirst to make and teach art. Yes, Rob also is an instructor, passing along his knowledge as a painter and artist and TV host. His exhibition features recent works as well as some of his favorite landscapes, still lifes and portraitures.  In each, the Maniscalco signature of hue, light and form is amply revealed.

Victor Pytko
Detroit. Mich. 48207

Here’s a short video created in 2014 by my friend, Victor Pytko “The last Artist” is a witty, sharp critique of our society’s throw away culture. We no longer seem to value original artwork. Our image driven, selfie obsessed society cares little for the original work of the creative, postulating that we have so many images we no longer need artists to create more, something myself and other creatives have been railing about for years. This satirical account of the last artist bites hard into the superficiality of our culture, imagining a world without artists. Why own an original with so many ways to experience (steal) the image? Because one is real, the other is imitation.

Victor Pytko

Original Art

Thanks Rob! Since I live with original art I know the deep value of seeing the brush strokes of an artist’s joy in creating something that lives beyond its subject matter. It is the joy of an artists showing you something beyond mere image but the life within the subject. Take time with art to BE with it and feel the presence of real life! Cessily Wotring Thalacker

Cessily Wotring Thalacker

Really Lovely

Hello, Robert. I went by the War Memorial today to look at your show. Really liked the portrait of Evan, but also the one about what happens to “the cute little kid that grows up” and the really lovely one about the child with her father. Frederic Sibley

Frederic Sibley

Really Lovely One

A Father's Love

A Father’s Love

Hello, Robert. I went by the War Memorial today to look at your show. Really liked the portrait of Evan, but also the one about what happens to “the cute little kid that grows up” and the really lovely one about the child with her father. Frederic Sibley

Frederic Sibley

Remarkable Effects

Mysterious lightRob, I saw your show at the War Memorial with a friend, and we very much enjoyed it. What struck me, as it usually does with your work, is its virtuosity. You can do anything!  And do it well, to boot. My favorite was a certain still life with cut flowers, but I really liked all of it, especially the different techniques used to apply color and achieve remarkable effects with it.

Jim Gerardi

Jim Gerardi

Incredible Artistic Gifts


Rob, your incredible artistic gifts somehow enable you to paint warmth and emotion and light. This precious image takes my breath away…you truly painted empathy.  Cheryle Kahl  ❤️

 Cheryle Kahl

Absolutely Beautiful


Absolutely beautiful💕Thank you for sharing this!  Jack Faragasso

Blurring the boundaries of theater, music and visual art

What would happen if Vincent Van Gogh showed up in New York City today? That’s the pretext for the play “Vincent John Doe,” which just completed a three-day Piccolo Spoleto Festival run at the City Gallery.

Charleston painter and actor Robert Maniscalco plays Van Gogh Vincent John Doe) in the Big Apple. His character is arrested and assumed to be mentally ill. He meets with therapists and fellow patients who challenge the definition of “the crazy artist.”

After escaping the hospital, he exploits the contemporary commercial art market by painting — Maniscalco creates two works during the show, accompanied by music (Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata) performed by his brother James Maniscalco.

“Where is home?” Vincent John Doe is asking.

Blurring the boundaries of theater, music and visual art, the play, written by Robert Maniscalco, transforms abstract philosophical ideas into a visual experience that explores artistic temperament and commercialization.

Reviewer Chunzi Shi is a Goldring Arts Journalist at Syracuse University.

Mesmerize ME

Awe Rob, you know I’ve always been your number 1 fan. Your paintings mesmerize me, you are so talented and genuinely a great person.

Congratulations always. 💞   Loreen Wallace Stay
Loreen Wallace Stay

Deserve the Recognition

Totally agree- Leyla is so professional and smooth talking creating such a comfortable atmosphere for you to expertly answer her great questions. I hope that this is just the beginning of many many more interviews for you. Besides your great and warm personality and amazing acting skills, your talent as an artist is outstanding and you deserve all the recognition that comes your way. Wishing you continued great artistic success stories! Bari Berger Engel

Bari Berger Engel

Turned Out Beautifully

Jesus Sending his Holy Spirit giclee part of Brian and Marth Ingalls collectionJesus sending his holy spirit giclee with Martha and Brian IngallsBrian absolutely loves “Jesus Sending His Holy Spirit!! [Brian’s birthday present] really turned out beautifully!! Many thanks! Martha Ingalls


That One Special Ingredient

“I love how you put things together so well but then add that on special ingredient nobody ever thought to add.” Pati Morris

Pati Morris

She Just Feels so Real



I purchased this piece recently at Piccolo Spoleto, and it’s a new favorite in my collection! Wow, so hard to put things into words. I kept coming back to “Butterflies.” I passed by the tent twice, came by the next day just to look at it, and then finally came back a final time to see her and buy her. I just couldn’t get her face out of my mind. You know, I never go for portraits. It’s just not really my style—I far prefer abstract works. She just feels so *real*, so alive. I feel like she knows something I don’t, but not in a threatening way. I feel like I know her, like she’s a real friend even though she’s a painting. There’s a spark in her eyes that I can’t put into words, and her smile just looks so authentic and almost in motion, not like a “portrait” of a smile. There’s something haunting about her in a warm way. I feel genuinely honored to have this piece in my collection.

Christrina Xan


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Maniscalco Gallery on Facebook

I’ve been meaning to #paint this #portrait for some time. “The #Longshoreman”is my latest #oilpainting  and is a #deep #exploration of #character. 

#art #artcollector  #artist #artistsoninstagram #charlestonartist #charleston #lowcountry #portraiture #sc

I’ve been meaning to #paint this #portrait for some time. “The #Longshoreman”is my latest #oilpainting and is a #deep #exploration of #character.

#art #artcollector #artist #artistsoninstagram #charlestonartist #charleston #lowcountry #portraiture #sc
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Heres another new #oilpainting. I wanted to explore the #color and #depth of painting #underwater. Breathing was the main issue. (budum-chink) But seriously, I enjoyed #painting the effects of the #breeze, as it rippled on the surface of the #coy #pond. Cut/paste the link into your browser and comment on my #website. Heres good also. Your feedback helps guide me as to which #subjects #resonate. 🥰

Here's another#oilpaintingnting. I wanted to explore#colorcolor#depthdepth of pain#underwaterwater. Breathing was the main issue. (budum-chink) But seriously, I enj#paintingnting the effects of#breezereeze, as it rippled on the surface of#coy #pond#pond. Cut/paste the link into your browser and comment o#websitebsite. Here's good also. Your feedback helps guide me as#subjects #resonate #resonate. 🥰 ... See MoreSee Less

4 weeks ago
Portrait Artist Robert Maniscalco
This #paintings been percolating for a while. Please enjoy, Perhaps #Love. I went full out #romance with this one but I made up for it with my introsoective #commentary. Please leave your #review on the #link, if you would, mates. #Charleston #sc #art #artist #artoninstagram #artcollector #poeticart #beauty #prettywoman #waitingforlove #perfectlove

Just won First Place in oil at the Berkley Artist guild annual show.

This #painting's been percolating for a while. Please enjoy, "Perhaps #Love." I went full out #romance with this one but I made up for it with my introsoective #commentary. Please leave your #review on the #link, if you would, mates. #Charleston #sc #art #artist #artoninstagram #artcollector #poeticart #beauty #prettywoman #waitingforlove #perfectlove

Just won First Place in oil at the Berkley Artist guild annual show.
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