Photography by Lauren Lieberman
Growing up, Clay Surovek gained an appreciation for art from his father, Palm Beach art dealer John Surovek. It’s an interest that never faded: Clay balanced his finance degree with a minor in art history and now applies his knowledge in both to the family business. The John H. Surovek Gallery specializes in nineteenth and twentieth century American works on paper; whereas his father acquires pieces through roughly 1940, Clay continues into the contemporary genre. For Clay, it’s about viewing art as an investment—the best of both his worlds.
Words to live by: "I'm living a blessed life and striving to master the art of living" - Clay.
Favorite artist: Thomas Hart Benton.
What gives him the biggest kick in his job: Seeing prospective sellers’ jaws drop when a piece they own is worth more than they thought.
His college reading materials: I subscribed to Barron’s on Saturdays and then I’d get the Wall Street Journal in the mornings.
Is he artistic? Maybe conceptually but certainly not on paper.
Favorite childhood memory: Summer vacations at Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.
How his home life growing up was different: In high school, a lot of my friends would come over and ask questions about some of the artwork. I can’t say I necessarily ever did that when I went into anybody else’s house.
His advice for buying artwork: Buy it because you like it. Don’t buy it for any other reason.
If he weren’t an art dealer: I would like to get involved with something with children.
Favorite hidden gem in Palm Beach: The Society of the Four Arts.
How he met his wife, Jessica: First and only blind date I ever went, or would ever go, on.
His fitness goal: To run a marathon.
How he enjoys spending family time: Boating.
On his bucket list: My wife and I would like to get our pilot’s licenses.
Whom he would most like to have a drink with: Pablo Picasso.
If a piece of art represented his life: It would be very bright, have bold colors and depict perhaps an incredible coastal scene or my family.
Best advice: As my wife always says, “Be here now.”
Most prized piece of art: My kids’ artwork.