Q&A: Carl David of David David Gallery

The Bala Cynwyd resident shares everything from his favorite artists to the best room in his house.

“Art is supposed to enrich your environment and take you on a voyage to another place,” says Carl David, chairman of David David Gallery. “It must draw you to it, regardless of the medium.” The Bala Cynwyd resident is a third-generation owner of the gallery, which has been in business since 1910.  

Personal decorating style: A mix of classic and contemporary. I love the richness, elegance and quality of antique furniture, but also the sleek lines of Modernism. They work well together.

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Favorite room in his house: Our bedroom, where we can escape from the noise and complexity of the rest of the world and enjoy being alone in our peaceful retreat.

Most treasured piece of art in his home: A painting by Alice Kent Stoddard called “The Chess Game.” It inspires memories of my late-night hours playing chess with my father when I was a teenager.

Artists who inspire him: Mark Rothko, because his works are so powerful. They create a stunning visual vibration through the orchestration of this perfect color-field blend. I also love Van Gogh because his Expressionism is unique. 

Favorite piece of advice when it comes to selecting art: Buy what you love—that is, what moves you emotionally. The image is always first, then the artist. 

Color that inspires him: Sunset orange. The thrill of such a glorious color goes right through me. 

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The best part of his job: The thrill clients get when acquiring works of art for which they have real passion. It’s that excitement that’s the real reward for what we’ve done in our business for four generations. There must be that visceral reaction that’s emotional. If you can feel what the artist felt, then it’s a great work of art.

Carl David//Photo by Tessa Marie Images.

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