Robert “Bob” Adragna was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1943. As a boy growing up in this vibrant and history-rich borough of New York City, Bob absorbed the sights, sounds, and even smells of his youth. His love of his neighborhood can be seen in the pure joy expressed in the images he created to memorialize those special memories.
As a young boy, Bob loved to draw, and in time, his gift began to reveal itself to everyone around him. His talent was even more remarkable given the fact that he was completely self-taught.
In Parochial School, the nuns were particularly blessed by Bob’s presence, as he gladly honed his skills on a series of religious-themed works, such as the Stations of the Cross, and portraits of favorite Saints. At the urging of the Sisters, Bob applied to and was warmly welcomed to the historic Industrial Arts HS in Manhattan. While there, in the company of other like-minded young people from all over the city, Bob found comfort and a sense of community, as well as the necessary self-conﬁdence that would serve him well going forward.
Bob, like many young people of his generation, was enthralled by Hollywood, and movies in general, and spent many happy hours in the some of the great movie palaces of that bygone era. Bob’s work continues to feature his love of all things Cinematic.
While still ﬁnishing high school, and feeling full of newly-earned conﬁdence, Bob made his ﬁrst pitch to the Art Director of a series of two popular Science Fiction/ Fantasy Magazines, Amazing Stories and Fantastic. He was hired on the spot, and created many memorable covers to begin a lengthy and successful career.
Bob’s ﬁrst regular paying job, as a young artist, was with the Norcross Greeting Card Company, where he was essentially creating miniature paintings.
In need of greater challenges and a (literally) larger canvas, Bob made his way into the interesting world of book covers. For Random House, Bob created original artwork for a forty-three book series called the Three Investigators, a spin-off of an Alfred Hitchcock inspired series.
Another noteworthy period of Bob’s artistic development was the time spent as an artist in the studio of Mark Kostabi. Kostabi was renowned for his very large paintings, and for the team he assembled to paint those paintings, based on his own drawings. Up to ﬁve different artists would participate on a single painting. It was a fun time for Bob, and a rare opportunity to collaborate.
New York City itself is the still-living subject of many of Bob’s paintings. His love for these iconic places, and for his personal favorite, the Empire State Building, is evident in the work. His paintings take you there.
In the late nineties, Bob was challenged by several serious health issues, and for some years, was quiet creatively. Long healthy again, and retired to upstate New York, Bob lives a quiet but happy life, and is still painting nearly every day.