About Robert daCosta
Robert daCosta is a Transcendental Artist and philosopher.
He was born in New York City in 1933. He began painting as early as primary school where teachers recognized his artistic talents and impressionistic viewpoint, hanging his paintings in the halls as examples for the other students. By fifth grade, his teachers encouraged him by providing pastels and allowing him to paint while his fellow students pursued traditional coursework. It was apparent that design was in his genes: his father had created sets for Paramount Studios before the depression and was subsequently a window designer for high-end stores on 5th Avenue in Manhattan.
DaCosta pursued his interest in fine art, painting throughout high school. His work earned him a full art scholarship to New York’s Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences. While at the State University of New York he majored in design (at the time a new study category for the University) and his teachers were top professionals from the design field in Manhattan. It was there that he became even more deeply interested in the abstract concepts of design and color as well as two-and three-dimensional composition.
In the mid 1950’s during the Korean War, daCosta joined the Air Force, where he continued painting, entering one of his painting in a juried exhibit in 1956. He soon found representatives of the local art guild beating a path to his door and was invited by them to lecture on art at their next meeting. From there he appeared on TV and on radio in interviews on the elements of art and was subsequently given his first "One Man Show" in 1956, sponsored by the World Telephone Association.
After being discharged from the Air Force in December of 1956, daCosta worked to support a growing young family as an interior designer and furniture designer. He never stopped painting, however, continually working on abstracts that soon graced the workspaces and lobbies of office buildings, residences and medical centers that he was hired to design and furnish in the New York metropolitan area.
The year of training in electronics and electronic countermeasures that he received while in the Air Force always held a fascination for daCosta, and was later to give him a foundation and to influence his decision about a career choice in scientific publishing that would occupy him for nearly 20 years. Artistic by temperament, he had resented having had to be put in the position that might lead to killing anyone, and made up his mind if he were ever in a position to do anything to keep the United States out of a war (at the time conflict appeared imminent with the Soviet Union) he would do so.
In the late 1960’s he went to work for a company that published in the scientific fields. Five and a half years later he founded his own publishing company in the field of Defense Science. His magazines covered topics as esoteric as electro-optic and infrared countermeasures, data acquisition from space, acoustic and non-acoustic anti-submarine warfare from space and undersea, particle-beam and directed-energy systems, super computing and high-order languages. His writers were PhD scientists like Dr. Edward Teller; his issues editors were retired Admirals, Generals and Under Secretaries of Defense; his readers occupied the White House, the house and senate, and in all the alphabet soup of U.S. agencies like the FBI,CIA, NSA, DIA, DCA, NASA, and DARPA; international readers included Ministries of Defense, Embassies, military agencies and aerospace companies in 126 countries. While his magazines' subjects covered the instruments of war and peace, their front covers and interior layouts bore the artwork of Victor Vasarely and other contemporary fine artists, echoing daCosta's instinctive sense of composition and color.
After retiring from the business world in 1997 daCosta was asked by an art dealer who had seen his work to do to shows in Portugal and Spain in 1999. Since that time he has also had shows in New York City’s Tribeca area in 2002, and was selected in 2003 by the prestigious Harwood Museum (Taos, New Mexico) to be their artist in residence from September through December of that year.
In January of 2004, collections of daCosta's paintings went on exhibit simultaneously at the Dharma Foundation, at the salon in the El Monte Sagrado’s Resort, and at a special exhibit for the art faculty of the University of New Mexico in the studio at the Harwood Museum. It was while he was at the Harwood that local art dealers and curators identified his painting genre as "transcendental", dealing with spiritual concepts such as life, death and rebirth. His paintings have been described as "profoundly spiritual" and "ethereal" in their depiction of nature and universal forces. The painting, “Man’s Link to the Infinite Mind,” was selected to become part of the permanent collection at the Harwood.
Pictured here are paintings in daCosta's Gallery in Northern Virginia. In other parts of this website you will also find the digital art that daCosta creates from photos he has taken around the world.