Like Frank Baum creating The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a landscape of lovable characters, Richard Demato has created his brainchild, the RJD Gallery, a landscape for magical realist works of art, in the heart of Bridgehampton.
The gallery specializes in contemporary art with a focus on magical realism, narrative portraiture, and urban landscape. It exhibits international, representational artists with a concentration on realism, photorealistic portraiture, surrealism, and figurative art. Drawings, paintings, and sculptures of emerging artists as well as American master painters represented in the RJD Private Collection present a contemporary vision of our world.
There are many layers to this down-to-earth gallerist, whom you can often catch strolling down the streets of Sag Harbor in vintage rock tee-shirts and colorful sneakers.
Richard graduated from the University of California at Irvine, and worked toward a PhD in molecular biology and biochemistry. In 1980, he moved to NYC, and business opportunities enabled Richard to establish a 30-year career in the textile industry, where he opened and operated what became a global textile and manufacturing business. He traveled extensively throughout the world, and acquired a vast collection of art and collectibles, as well as priceless experiences on his journeys. His firm was extremely active with a myriad of charities, including the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), AIDS LA and NYC, Fountain House NYC, Joel Finkelstein Cancer Foundation, UJA-Federation, and it funded research in breast cancer, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s. In 2002, he left the textile business and moved to Sag Harbor, and he joined the board of The Retreat, a non-profit that provides shelter and support for victims of domestic abuse. At the end of 2009, he opened RJD Gallery to raise awareness and cultivate donors for The Retreat (retreatinc.org), and he spent more than 14 years on its board.
Richard is an honorary board member of the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation, and is very thankful for the support of the gallery’s collectors, which allows the RJD Gallery to endow non-profit causes.
Richard currently resides in a historic whaling-captain’s home in the center of Sag Harbor. The house was originally built in 1790, and updated in 1833, and is an example of his lifelong passion for developing properties, including a private island.
“I’m thankful to be surrounded by many sensitive creative souls, both artists and collectors, who appreciate that we support, nurture, and empower our exclusive artists.
The art world is global and the international consensus about what is quality art has allowed us to more than double our gallery sales in the first six months of 2019! We’re excited about plans and commitments through 2022. Art is meant to improve your life, enables you to see more in its daily appreciation, in different ways each time. I personally never look at art as an investment in anything other than my personal growth and pleasure. It speaks to me and is an extension of my experiences and emotions. My best advice is to acquire only art that you love, as it moves you forward! Please take the time to visit the RJD Gallery and experience the masterful artwork of our very talented artists,” said Richard.
2385 Main Street, Bridgehampton