Thursday, November 17, 2011

David Katz Table Setting

David Katz was invited to do a table setting for WISH Magazine. For those of you who don't know who he is, he is best described as a collector, and makes his living picking art and home furnishings that he sells to designers, shops, and regular folks. In a way he is continuing a family tradition because his mother Karla Katz owns the best antique shop on Magazine Street here in New Orleans, where she sells French, Swedish, and Italian wares. David's dad collects (and makes) art, and his brother is a painter. He has been surrounded by beautiful things all of his life.

The table setting he did is very unusual. David is the classic bachelor who does not cook. In fact his kitchen is storage for the overflow of objects he buys and sells.  So he approached his table setting as an art installation, verging on Dada surrealistic lines.

Table setting by David Katz

David says, "The center piece is completely inspired by the Swiss, preeminent, Dada, artist, Meret Oppenheim's "Object" 1936. The piece was born of a compliment by fellow artists Dora Maar and Pablo Picasso to a fur cuff Oppenheim was wearing, where lore has it, Picasso remarked one could cover anything with fur, to which Maar replied 'Even this cup and saucer'."

David Katz  did a  fur place setting as an homage to Meret Oppenheim

A short time later, when asked to participate in Andre Breton's first surrealist exhibition dedicated to objects, "Object" was Oppenheim's entry. It's has always resonated with me in that the spirit to create something unique (and maybe thought provoking, but that emotion lies exclusively with the viewer) lives in the idea of realizing the opportunities to revolt against the dull, mundane, and ubiquitous are everywhere!  A phoenix of coolness may rise out of the ashes of uninspired doldrums adding a dash of anything-is-possible combined with objects readily around you."

The original Meret Oppenheim fur cup and saucer and spoon

He continues, "The serving plate under the homage to Oppenheim is a Gorham, Sterling plate, from 1934. This is from my private collection, but the best antique Sterling similar to this can be found at As Yo Like It, a shop on Magazine St. Old Sterling is not only the epitome of class, but a precious metal that has increased significantly in value over the past year. Get it to use and enjoy, and as a sound investment. I love Sterling. The white ceramic plate is Pridin Pale (France) and carried exclusively by the shop, Uptowner. I really like the shape and design of this plate."

I asked hm about the little sculptural heads in the table setting, "The head is a stone Bodhisattva fragment circa 9-13th C. and supposedly from Angkor Wat, a legitimate wonder of the ancient world. Those that know me well know I have an alien thing, and the alignment of Angkor Wat's temple complex has a striking similarity in alignment to the stars in the constellation Draco."

David Katz used an ancient  Bodhisattva head in his Dada-esque place setting

I love the flowers David used, and asked him if he arranged them, "Flowers are always a nice touch and should be de rigueur. These were done by the awesome Dunn and Sonnier, who let you take in their great antique store while they finish your flowers."

The napkins are lovely, and I asked David where he got them, "The napkins came from Mom. I am not good at buying napkins. She gave me these forever ago and they are great because they are bigger. People spill. Burgers are messy. A little extra napkin never hurt anyone. Thanks Mom!" 

David goes onto to say, "My Mom has a great antique store, Karla Katz antiques, and was gracious to help me with a few smalls to really help me visualize my dream table setting.  The raw, organic wood charger is actually a table top that Mom has at her store that has really cool, Warren Planter-esque, black, iron, stand that goes with it, but again,  I re purpose. This top was so great to use with the faux sting ray place mats. I think are awesome in their juxtaposition to use on a gorgeous, antique, more formal, walnut, table. The place mat is faux stingray I cut off a bolt of fabric. Why not think outside the proverbial box and choose a place mat that can be made from a bolt of fabric you love, and then throw into your rotation of place settings."

The horn cup with the Sterling  is gorgeous! It almost looks like an Ikat pattern, so striking against the "sting ray" print fabric David Katz used for the placemat he made for the table setting

Another special object is the horn cup of which David says, "The horn cup with Sterling rim, the pair of sterling bowls (I had a pair nearly identical I just sold...) and the antique tortoise-shell match book came from Karla's personal and private collection. To find little pieces as special as this there is no one store I can name. Exceptionally unique and cool pieces like this is why you make time to spend the day walking either Magazine or Royal Street with a friend and seeing what you may find!"

 "...vino is not only equal, but possibly of paramount importance when it comes to fueling the dinner parties you never forget!"

It's not often you seen cigars paired with wine in a table setting, David told me, "The wine is an amazing bottle that came from Wine Seller via Ben Lazic. The stogies come from Mayan Import Company on Magazine Street. I love the way a few them look in my old Tortoise shell caddy, which comes from my  collection of wares, and is for sale at Karla Katz Antiques."

Tortoise shell cigar caddy for sale from David Katz - what a great Christmas gift!

I love the approach David took to doing his table setting, and hearing his thought process was fascinating. I might have to try that fur on the plate idea!

David Katz collector and seller of art and beautiful and interesting things for the home - Wouldn't you love to stroll Magazine Street and Royal Street with him to look for special treasures for your table?

Contact David Katz to inquire about what beautiful things he is selling at

All photos from WISH

Please go to Between Naps On the Porch for more great tablescapes, that Susan features every Thursday.

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  1. excuse me - i don't really care about his table settings....he is beyond gorgeous! can i have him?????? ahahahah. obnoxious cougar.. uggh.

  2. Incredibly talented and immaginative. Children that are immersed in art, and design at a young-age seem to flourish in it as they grow up. Another chip off of the old blog David is, and yes, I'd quite fancy a trip down Magazine Street with this amazing man!! I loved Joni's!

    Happy pre-Thanksgiving to you and Alberto. xo xo

  3. I love the idea of a table setting as installation art. What fun!

  4. I would consider eating off that fur covered place setting if it meant eating with him! Just kidding, happily married. Thanks for the term Manscape! I will be using it from now on.

    Robin Flies South

  5. I follow your blog regularly, it makes me happy to see many details of decoration, are immense ideas daily pickup of your content, congratulations and regards.

  6. That horn cup is fabulous, I loved the whole tablescape really. He has taste and he's tasty too! Great post V


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