In conversation with the gallery owner – Richard Demato

In conversation with the gallery owner – Richard Demato

4def9b_e5bcedb8b9f24654bf6ca3a8dc71ee1fI first met Richard Demato about five years ago. I was walking down the high street in Sag Harbor in New Yorks’ Long Island, and noticed a painting of a woman surrounded by birds in a gallery window. I went in to take a closer look, and there was this guy sitting behind a desk, casually dressed in that way that people who live by the coast dress, and we started talking about the artist and her work. As it turns out it was one of Andrea Kowch’s early exhibitions. I could kick myself for listening to my husband (he wasn’t sure where the piece I wanted would fit in our home) and not getting one of her paintings back then. Even at that time her work was being snapped up by major art museums, and in a very short space of time went up exponentially in value, and is now being secured by collectors before the paint is even dry. Andrea is an enormously talented and extremely successful artist, and when you talk to her she is very direct about the role that Richard and the RJD Gallery have had in that success in terms of their representation and marketing of her work. Which is an important and often overlooked aspect of the function a good gallery can have in an artist’s career.

Richard’s a New Yorker, and he’s got the accent and the attitude, and a razor sharp intellect. He has a shock of curly hair and a ground shaking laugh. He’s also got that somewhat tough business-like exterior. But when he starts talking about the art and the artists he represents, he softens. Over the years we’ve become friends, and I’ve come to appreciate he not only sells art, but he believes in the people he represents, and he cares for them and their craft a great deal. There’s a unique generosity in how he seeks to understand the artists and what it means and takes for them to create…

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