Born and raised in Rockland County, New York, Rob was introduced to the world of art world through an old library copy of Hogarth's "Dynamic Figure Drawing" almost four decades ago. It helped spark his enthusiasm for drawing, and he received a Knights of Columbus Scholarship for art along with a baseball scholarship to George Washington University in 1985.
Before long his interest in art blossomed into a full-fledged obsession. He was awarded the Morris Louis Scholarship for painting in 1990 and again in 1991. These scholarships, along with the National Academy of Arts and Letters Scholarship for painting, allowed him to immerse himself in art and receive his MFA in 1993. He was determined to shape himself into an artist inspired by the Renaissance model, which combines a respect for the past with a vision for the future. Soon his work began to garner the attention of American Artist magazine, who selected Rob for their "Emerging Artist Award," featured his work in the 1996 Art Master's issue, and chose him as one of the "Top Realists under Forty."
In 1997 Rob began examining an early fascination with Donatello and Michelangelo and their sculpture. He dedicated himself to learning about the materials and methods they used, including stone carving. He was chosen as a professional member of The Sculpture Society of America and was selected to create three sculptures for the Indian Oratory at The National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC, two of which were carved in marble by his own hand. He was commissioned again by the National Shrine in 2008 to sculpt a statue of Mother Teresa. A larger-than-life marble statue was modeled after his terra cotta design and is now standing in the National Shrine's Hall of Saints. His interest in large public work also led to a sculpture commission of the 15-foot crucifix which hangs over the High Altar in Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church in Potomac, Maryland.
In the early 2000's he began devoting time to portraiture and garnered several awards from the Portrait Society of America's annual International Portrait Competition. His painting "Russell" received "First Honors" in the show in 2001, and then in 2002 the portrait of his friend Robert won "Best in Show." In 2003 a portrait of Steven Honigberg, cellist for the National Symphony Orchestra, won the "Grand Prize" in the competition. Other commissioned portraits include those of Marc Pachter, director of the National Portrait Gallery, former President George H. Bush, and Ambassador Sol Linowitz.
In recent years his focus has leaned toward figure drawing and painting. His work is represented by the John Pence Gallery in San Francisco, the Legacy Gallery in Scottsdale and the M gallery in Charleston.
Rob is known for his inspiring and information-packed teaching style. Through teaching classes and workshops in the U.S. and abroad, and with the addition of his instructional DVDs series and even the occasional webinar, Rob encourages artists around the world to explore the wonders of the classic tradition expressed in a fresh and current manner. Both his art and my teaching express the richness and rewards of a life filled with art.
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