David Roop, He and Me's Art Collector
Greenville has it’s very own “most interesting man”. Meet David Roop, owner and founder of local salon He & Me. Originally from Detroit, David moved to Greenville when he was nineteen. Over the years he has become a staple of the community, he was even Mayor Knox’s barber of choice. Besides cutting hair, David developed an incredible passion for collecting art. His salon became an outlet to display the impressive collection that he had acquired, creating a wholly unique experience for his customers.
Life took at turn for David two years ago when he was diagnosed with bone cancer. This put an end to his collecting and haircutting. Miraculously, here at the end of 2016, David is going strong and the cancer is in complete submission. Now he is regularly hosting private art shows and is slowly selling his collection.
Exclusive Photography: FishEye Studios, Greenville, SC
In 2008 David moved his salon to Stone Avenue. His new building turned out to be the former home of the first Jewish Rabbi in Greenville, who was Jeff Zaglin's grandfather. He was completely unaware of that fact until he found out from Jeff. What a small world we live in.
This is a wooden sculpture of the African Hornbill originally from the Congo region of Africa. Once he bought it and had it shipped here David picked it up in his El Camino and drove it through downtown, straight to his salon.
Dave was and has always been particularly interested in collecting primitive art, and more specifically he loves anything that has a face on it. What he is holding here is called an Ugly Face Jug, and is coated with a tobacco-spit glaze.
David has had three back surgeries due to his cancer, but you would never know it. His face lights up like the sun when he tells the story behind a piece of his collection. Everything he collected had a fascinating story behind had it.
"Symbolism is what turned me onto art. What we are saying and what we are trying to communicate in art, It’s amazing, because every civilization in history has it."
This rock is only found in one place in the entire country, Travelers Rest. It was discovered by his first wife's great uncle, Earnest Gosnell. When it comes out of the ground it's soft and it hardens more and more over time.
Just as there is a story behind every piece of art, there is a history behind every single man, woman, and child on this earth. David's unique story correlates extremely well with the incredibly unique stories hidden behind his art.
The most interesting man in Greenville, ladies and gentlemen.
Strike up a conversation with David next time you need a hair cut, you will absolutely learn something new and leave with a new appreciate for art and life.
Writer: Jonathan Issac Anderson