gilt, n. the gold or other material applied in gilding.
GILT Studio Gallery is collaboration between husband and wife, David and Holly Graff. Their unique work incorporates many different painting mediums in conjunction with traditional gilding techniques in the creation of contemporary works of art.
From an early age, David was a dedicated and passionate creative person, but music was where his interest and abilities first flourished. This took the shape of a lengthy career as a singer/songwriter, including a stint as a writer/recording artist in Los Angeles in the late 80’s.
In 1994 the urge to expand into the visual arts led him to start his own faux finishing company, which was his first foray into visual art. Through this, David enjoyed considerable success with his highly sought after work on high-end residential and commercial projects in Vancouver, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, and China. His work on the lobby of the Wilshire Grand in L.A. won an Interior Design Institute Award in 2001.
Meanwhile, half a continent away, Holly was looking to return to her roots in the visual arts, after having spent the previous ten years immersed in the world of global business, where she advanced her career by editing numerous articles and books, published in the Harvard Business Review and University Presses. Born in the US, but raised in South Africa, she travelled extensively throughout Western Europe, the Mediterranean, South America, Africa, and the Far East. Because of these experiences she was exposed at an early age to a diverse expression of culture and the Arts. She majored in Fine Arts in University, stretching herself with a double concentration in Painting as well as Photography.
Back in Vancouver, David began a successful gilded series of paintings in 2002 – applying many of the processes and techniques he had previously employed in large scale installations as part of his faux finishing work to the relatively smaller substrates of wood panels.
It was precisely at this time that David and Holly met, and GILT Studio Gallery (along with their enduring love affair) was launched.
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David’s unique combination of gold, silver, and copper leaf, transparent color glazes and high sheen resin drew much attention and allowed him to quickly gain representation in numerous galleries in Canada and the U.S.
Taking her cue from these materials, Holly experimented to find a way to successfully use the metallic leaf on glass – a process that requires each piece to be worked in reverse – utilizing the organic way that gilt reacts with chemicals, heat and pigments.
For more than a decade now they have used the time-honored craft of gilding in a thoroughly modern context to produce paintings, a unique line of glass pieces, and a number of large-scale custom installations of singular depth and visual impact. Their work can be found in private and corporate collections around the world and has been seen in movies, television shows and magazines.