Lydia Kellam -  August 18th, 2020

A Conversation With Elsa Chiao & David Goligorsky

LLooking for inspiration on how to curate art for your home? In our journal series ART AT HOME we seek advice among our art-loving friends to get ideas and tips on how to discover art and decorate accordingly. In our second article, we get inspired by Brooklyn-based couple Elsa Chiao and David Goligorsky. Elsa works as a freelance designer and art director, and David as a creative technologist and product designer. Together they share a beautiful home and art collection in Brooklyn Heights. 

Elsa Chiao & David Goligorsky

What role does art play in your home?
It’s a reminder of the different places we’ve been, the people we’ve met, and the experiences we had—whether it be finding the art somewhere or us making it ourselves.

How would you describe your style in terms of art?
There is not really one style—we have old oil paintings from flea markets, prints that we made ourselves, and pieces from artists we like. If we were to find a common descriptor, it might be that we lean towards illustrative, graphic pieces. We also have a few photographs but still need a few more to round out a collection to make our walls more photographic.

Tell me about an artwork in your home. What's the story behind it? Why is it important to you? Where did you buy it?
David: Well, there’s one oil painting that I actually found on eBay. It depicts two gentlemen who are roughing it in nature and look like they have been for some time. There’s a canoe sneaking off the canvas, so these two adventuring outdoorsmen are floating where the stream may lead them. They set up for the evening against a menacing boulder and are cooking their vittles over a campfire with a long-handled cast iron pan. There’s a backpack made of woven wood bark that they’ve been carrying gear in. They seem sort of exhausted but in good spirits. Living day to day in whatever nature hands them. Seemingly peaceful in their mutual silence and enjoying a moment’s respite between voyaging on the rapids and setting up camp. It’s a fine piece that makes us wistful for the outdoors and reminds us of the world outside the bustle and human-made demands of city living and the impossible task of taking a pause from technology.

- How has the recent crisis had an impact on how you discover and experience art?
Elsa: We have been relying on what we find on the internet for inspiration for work and life. Through that, we are learning about new and interesting artists who might not have representation. On top of the pandemic, the movement against systemic racism and racial inequality is finally gaining the momentum and attention it deserves. That also makes us all re-evaluate the disparity within the art community. I think that it is imperative that we look at art through this lens and try to amplify works by artists who have been overlooked because of racial biases.

-Which artists have inspired you lately and why?
Elsa: I saw Tyler Mitchell’s exhibition titled “I Can Make You Feel Good” at the International Center of Photography just right before the COVID “lockdown”, and was so moved by his work. It was very poetic and poignant, especially in this moment.

David: I’ve been thinking about Martin Puryear lately. He’s a sculpture who studied in the 1960s-70s and has been making astonishing work mostly in wood. The pieces are simultaneously organic and precise. The forms can feel familiar and friendly but I’ve never seen forms like the ones he’s made through the years.

Looking for new art for your home? Check out our limited edition art prints by emerging artists from places like Brooklyn, NYC, LA, Stockholm, and Venice

To learn more about Elsa and David check out:

Written by Lydia Kellam for Works by Friends

Related Posts

Stockholm Art Guide

Stockholm Art Guide

Sep 02, 2020Lydia Kellam


May 20, 2020Miranda Lundberg