Born and raised in Rockland County, New York, Robert Liberace 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.
He is considered by many to be a contemporary classicist, equally gifted in drawing, painting, and sculpture. He is possibly best known for his distinctive style of figure drawing.
Awards for his work include both the Morris Louis Scholarship and the National Academy of Arts and Letters Scholarship while still in college.
In 1996, American Artist honored Liberace with their "Emerging Artist Award".
In 2002, he received the Best of Show Award in the Portrait Society of International Portrait Competition, and in 2003 he received their Grand Prize.
Also in 2002, three of Liberace's drawings were selected for exhibition in New York 's prestigious Arnot Museum of Art.
Liberace is now working on a book for Watson-Guptill Publishing where he will demonstrate his approach to the "old master" style of drawing.
In addition to his publication and commissions, Liberace teaches workshops throughout the United States and Europe.
Rob is known for his inspiring and informative teaching style. He teaches at The Art League of Virginia and holds workshops throughout the United States and abroad. He regularly tours students through the great museums of Europe, garnering from his extensive knowledge of the old European masters. American Artist's Workshop Magazine featured one of his Ireland workshops in their Spring 2006 issue. He pioneered one of the first online teaching courses for American Artist magazine which included live webinars and critiques. He regularly teaches for their annual "Weekend with the Masters" workshops. Responding to the growing need for classical art instruction, Liberace Studio has produced a series of tutorial dvds in which Rob demonstrates painting and drawing techniques focusing on figure, portrait and anatomy. They've sold in over 50 countries around the world. Rob also has written informational articles for both American Artist and The Artist's magazines.
Robert received his B.F.A. and M.F.A. from George Washington University where he originally attended school on a baseball scholarship, and later with art scholarships from the National Society of Arts and Letters. He lives in Virginia with his wife, Lina Liberace, and their two daughters. He is represented by the John Pence Gallery in San Francisco, the Legacy Gallery in Scottsdale and the Principle Gallery in Alexandria, Virginia.