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Behind The Artist: RD Riccoboni

RD Riccoboni is a self-taught American artist based out of San Diego, California. Dubbed one of America's favorite artists, his colorful take on life makes everyday landscapes a thing of beauty and wonder. Discover what inspires his portrait, landscape, and LGBTQ paintings.

One artist who always brings joy to our walls is RD Riccoboni.

RD picked up a paintbrush when he was four and never put it down. Dubbed one of America's favorite artists, his colorful take on life makes everyday landscapes a thing of beauty and wonder. His desire is to inspire and bring happiness to people through his work while encouraging everyone to make the world a better place for us all.

We recently had the pleasure of chatting with RD to find out where he draws inspiration, how he got started as an artist, and more.

Black and white portrait of artist RD Riccoboni and his artwork Celebrating Equality San Diego California
Featured Art: Celebrating Equality San Diego California by RD Riccoboni

What is your background in art? How did you get started?

I was fortunate to grow up in an affluent part of Connecticut and NYC, where many successful artists lived at the time. The artists would come to my school and talk to the art class- like Peter Max and Anna Hyatt Huntington. Anna Hyatt Huntington is a famous woman artist that really influenced me as a little boy. I was also obsessed with the statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. Sculptures and other things excited me as a viewer, but I always knew I wanted to paint.

The defining moment for what type of artist I would become was when I took Photography and English Literature in high school. They had a field trip to the British Collection of Art at Yale University, and that is where it hit me to want to be an artist.

I was in the lobby, and a teacher was talking to everybody to send them off to the exhibit, except she grabbed me by the shoulder and said, "Not you. There's a different exhibit that I want you to see." I was like, "Ok," and I went to see David Hockney.

It was the art that validated my whole life. David Hockney was LGBTQ, and I saw things that I had thought about all my life. Thanks to David Hockney, I knew what art style I wanted to paint, and my art had taken off.

Side by side images of a nude male portrait over a bed and the original painting.
Featured Art: Blue Beard by RD Riccoboni

When I was a little kid, I used to go on trips to museums or historic sites. My family would go on road trips and stop by landmark signs. When they did show and tell in school, I would show the pictures I drew of where we went on vacation.

I was always interested in historic places and would draw pictures of the places I went to. You see these in my portfolio. Today I enjoy painting landscapes, historic architecture, and locations and events.

Side by side images of wall art of a building over a chair and a close-up of the original painting.
Featured Art: California Tower Balboa Park by RD Riccoboni

What was the moment you knew art would be your career - not just a passion project?

I always wanted to be an artist when I grew up. It was a long journey, but when I was four years old, I would tell everybody I wanted to be an artist, and they were like - "yeah, right."

I used to get into my mother's paint-by-numbers set when she and my aunt would go shopping. My grandmother would babysit me and let me paint, and I finished my first painting by numbers of the USS Constitution Sailing Ship. Then after that, they thought they better get me some art supplies!

Side by side images of canvas art depicting a beach over a chair and a close-up of the original painting.
Featured Art: La Jolla Cove San Diego California by RD Riccoboni

How do you know when a piece is 'ready' to share?

That is what happens when you practice your craft over and over. No matter what it is, sharing it with people makes them happy, and they want more. So you keep making more because you can, and you get rewarded for that. It evolves. Artists are so important that there is definitely a place for them, and we help the economy.

Side by side images of wall art featuring a pink hotel with a pool over a couch and the original painting.
Featured Art: Poolside at La Valencia Hotel La Jolla by RD Riccoboni

You can find RD's landscapes, portraits, and LGBTQ paintings in our collection here, which also exclusively showcases his abstract work designed for the home. Check out his website, catch his updates on his Instagram account, or catch him in person in his gallery, where he's probably hard at work on his next project.

And if you're in San Diego, make sure to visit the San Diego History Center Museum exhibit, "Celebrating Summer," which displays RD's artwork titled, "We Rise As We Lift Others." This iconic painting is a piece of California's history, created as a tribute to the ruling on gay marriage equality, and was brought back to San Diego after being exhibited in the State Capital Building for a year.

We believe art wields the power to inspire, energize, and transform people and places. Our team of curators and craftspeople are passionate about providing art that meets your unique vision and style.

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