Sag Harbor Express: “A Really Big Painting”

Sag Harbor Express: “A Really Big Painting”


Getting a big piece of art into a small gallery space is no easy feat.

Last Thursday, “Carousel,” a 6'5" high x 14'6" wide oil on canvas by Jamaican artist Phillip Thomas, came into Sag Harbor for an opening at Richard J. Demato Fine Arts Gallery. And it, like many other things crossing Main Street, entirely stopped traffic.

The piece, which had been on display for the last six months in Washington D.C. at The World Bank and at the headquarters of the Organization of American States, arrived somewhat unexpectedly, setting into motion a noisy honkfest and a well-meaning effort by the typically ticket-happy traffic cops.

As gallery owner Demato described it, “Everything happened all at once. The trucking company decided to deliver the artwork earlier than expected, and didn’t give us the 30 minute notice.”

The truck came up to unload where the gallery is located — in front of Sag Harbor Cinema — just as the Suffolk County bus and Jitney’s Hamptons Ambassador liner came in to pick up passengers. A stand-still ensued before the truck was sent off to circle, the passenger pick-up for the two buses taking 20 minutes.

Then the fun started.

As Demato explained, “It took three people to simply get it off the truck and then it barely fit through the front door of the gallery. Then we ‘had’ to get it upstairs; it’s the key to the exhibit.”

“Our first attempt failed, because our limited understanding of geometry made it ‘wedge’ and get stuck. A second attempt, angling the art diagonally up the stairs, got it stuck, too.” stairs, got it stuck, too.”

Flushed and frustrated, Demato hit on a solution, calling in “the guys at the gym,” reaching Rich Decker of Studio 89 and the Sag Harbor Gym, who brought with him “Big Mike,” a man Demato described as having “arms the size of legs.”

Still, five sets of hands, heavy artillery and all, the painting wouldn’t make the turn that was needed. It wasn’t until the painting nearly fell 12 feet that fear, adrenaline and an improbable shift of weight pushed the piece onto the second floor.

Now that it’s in place, perhaps it’s time to ask, “How’s it going to come down?”

Either way, it’s not likely to move much until the show comes down August 26.


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In My Mind – Limited Edition Framed Print

36 x 48 in | 91.4 x 121.9 cm



30" x 40" / 76.2 x 101.6cm
Acrylic on Linen

Winter Solstice

30" x 40" / 76.2 x 101.6cm
Oil on Linen


56" x 37" / 142.2 x 94cm
Charcoal and Water on Deep Mounted Canvas


38" x 56" / 96.5 x 142.2cm
Charcoal and Water on Deep Mounted Canvas

Expectation – Limited Edition Unframed Print

10 x 10 in, 25.4 x 25.4 cm


Winter Storage

48" x 54" / 121.9 x 137.2cm
Oil on Canvas

Talking to a Hummingbird

20" x 16" / 50.8 x 40.6cm
Watercolor on Aqua board

When the Love Blooms

Watercolor on Aquaboard


9" x 12" / 22.9 x 30.5cm
Watercolor on Aquaboard

Revoada (Diptych)

12" x 48" / 30.5 x 121.9cm
Watercolor on Aquaboard

The Ecolosion of a Butterfly

12" x 24" / 30.5 x 61cm
Watercolor on Aquaboard

In Full Bloom

16" x 20" / 40.6 x 50.8cm
Watercolor on Aquaboard

Shades of Black

8" x 8" / 20.3 x 20.3cm
Watercolor on Aquaboard

Barbershop (Triptych)

89" x 267" / 226.1 x 678.2cm
Mixed Media on Canvas

Singer Sewing Machine

36.5" x 50" / 92.7 x 127cm
Charcoal on Stonehenge Paper

Yashica Movie Camera

24" x 34.5" / 61 x 87.6cm
Charcoal on Stonehenge Paper

Vintage Cash Register

42" x 36.5" / 106.7 x 92.7cm
Charcoal on Stonehenge Paper

Vintage Scuba Helmet

38" x 27" / 96.5 x 68.6cm
Charcoal on Stonehenge Paper

Rooney (Juvenile Great Horned Owl)

15" x 22" / 38.1 x 55.9cm
Charcoal and Water on Deep Mounted Canvas

Wonton (Eastern Screech Owl)

22" x 15.5" / 55.9 x 39.4cm
Charcoal and Water on Deep Mounted Canvas

Wynter (Snowy Owl)

22" x 22" / 55.9 x 55.9cm
Charcoal and Water Mounted on Deep Canvas

Vernal Bloom

30" x 30" / 76.2 x 76.2cm
Oil on Canvas

1917 Indian Motorcycle – Limited Edition Unframed Print

44 x 88 in | 111.8 x 223.5 cm


Without Measure

20 x 24 in | 50.8 x 61 cm


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