Top 12 Christmas Gifts for Art Lovers

The best art-inspired presents to suit all budgets.

The holiday season is upon us and with it, the frantic, last-minute rush to get the best presents for our loved ones. But if you’re looking for a suitable offering for an art lover, you know that the discerning eye of an arty aesthete can be hard to please. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the best gifts, for any budget, to give to your art-loving friends or family this holiday season.

Paul McCarthy, Tree (2014) Via: @HauserWirth on Twitter

Paul McCarthy, Tree (2014). 
Photo: via @HauserWirth on Twitter.

1. Paul McCarthy’s Christmas Tree
This definitely falls into the category of gifts for the art collector who already has everything. If you have cash to spend and you want to make a very memorable gift, you can’t go wrong with this huge and controversial artwork by Paul McCarthy.

Price: Contact Hauser & Wirth, maybe it’s still available?

Museum members enjoy numerous benefits. Photo: theredlist.com

Museum members enjoy numerous benefits.
Photo: theredlist.com

2. Museum memberships
For a gift that keeps on giving, joining a museum’s membership program comes with many benefits such as free entry, exclusive previews to major shows, members-only talks and tours, and discounts at the gift shop and café. Check out your local museum’s website for rates.

Price: Under $100, and mostly tax-deductible.

Milo Moiré. Photo: freeweibo.com.

Milo Moiré.
Photo: freeweibo.com.

3. Milo Moiré calendar 
Swiss performance artist (and exhibitionist) Milo Moiré—known for her naked selfie series—just released a 2016 calendar titled The Twelve Muses, which “illustrates in a humorous and provocative way the (sexual) complexity of femininity in its unlimited facets.” The calendar comes in a limited edition of 1000.

Price: About $55

Yves Klein Table Or (1961-63) Photo: Artware Editions

Yves Klein Table Or (1961-63).
Photo: via Artware Editions.

4. Yves Klein Table Or
Consisting of 3,000 sheets of gold leaf encased in plexiglass, this is definitely one of the most famous artist-designed pieces of fine furniture. From 1963 to the present, the Yves Klein Estate in Paris France has overseen the production of this stunning coffee table edition.

Price: Upon request at Artware.

Basquiat Skateboard Triptych Skull. Photo: MoMA

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Triptych Skull skateboard (2014).
Photo: via MoMA.

5. Jean-Michel Basquiat skateboard triptych
Based on Jean-Michel Basquiat’s origins as a street artist in the 1980s downtown New York, the skateboard deck triptych draws influences from past and contemporary street culture. A great gift for young art lovers, skater kids, or street art fans.

Price: $500

Maurizio Cattelan And Pierpaolo Ferrari Why Me? Soap (2014) Photo: MoMA

Maurizio Cattelan And Pierpaolo Ferrari Why Me? soap bar (2014)
Photo: MoMA

6. Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari Why Me? soap bar
A great present for those close friends who can take a joke. But beware! Do not gift this tombstone shaped soap bar to a roommate who lacks personal hygiene, or to the in-laws you secretly dislike, they might not find it funny … This organic, vegetable based bar riffs on a design piece by art world prankster Maurizio Cattelan and photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari, who run the magazine Toiletpaper. And it has the pleasant scent of sandalwood and myrrh.

Price: $21

Yoko Ono Mended Cups Photo: MoMA

Yoko Ono, Mended Cups (2015).
Photo: via MoMA.

7. Yoko Ono Mended Cups
With this set of seven coffee cups and saucers, Yoko Ono celebrates the process of renewal and starting over. A perfect euphemism for the “new year new me” mindset that your wacky aunt keeps talking about every time January approaches.

Price: $250

Ai Weiwei Silk Scarf Photo: Tate

Silk scarf by Ai Weiwei.
Photo: via Tate.

8. Ai Weiwei silk scarf
Depicting the Chinese dissident artist’s seminal Sunflower Seeds (2010) installation at the Tate Modern in London, this oversized pure silk scarf will surely put a smile on the face of any art lover.

Price: About $135

John Baldessari Towel Photo: Tate

John Baldessari’s towel.
Photo: via Tate.

9. John Baldessari towel
Designed by John Baldessari, this retro-style towel featuring a trademark collage image of a 1950s beach girl remains true to the Californian artist’s West Coast aesthetic. Great idea if you’re lucky enough to be traveling to a warm, tropical destination this holiday season. Maybe to check out the new contemporary art museum in Kingston, Jamaica?

Price: About $135

Mark Rothko: The Decisive Decade: 1940-1950 Photo: Complex Magazine

Cover of Mark Rothko: The Decisive Decade: 1940-1950.
Photo: via Complex Magazine.

10. Mark Rothko: The Decisive Decade 1940-1950:
Newly published by Rizzoli, this high quality publication explores the legendary American painter’s formative years in the 1940s. The book includes essays on the artist by prominent Rothko scholars. A must for all Rothko fans. For more books and printed matter to give to the art nerds in your life, check out our list of the 10 best books for the holidays.

Price: $50

The Andy Warhol Foundation and toy manufacturer Mattel collaborated to create the doll. Photo: InStyle

The Andy Warhol Foundation and toy manufacturer Mattel collaborated to create the doll.
Photo: InStyle

11. Andy Warhol limited edition Barbie doll
Is it a toy, or a collector’s item never to be taken out of its packaging? The Andy Warhol Foundation has collaborated with American toy manufacturer Mattel to produce a limited edition Andy Warhol Barbie doll. A great gift for kids with an interest in art, or grownups who love to collect.

Price: $150

Pedro Cabrita Reis, 18 karat gold bracelet

18 karat gold bracelet by Pedro Cabrita Reis.
Photo: courtesy Elisabetta Cipriani

12. “Wearable sculptures” by contemporary artists at Elisabetta Cipriani Jewelry
You can never go wrong with jewelry. In collaboration with a group of internationally acclaimed contemporary artists, Elisabetta Cipriani has created a line of “wearable sculptures” rendered in precious materials. Participating artists include Ai Weiwei, Rebecca Horn, Jannis Kounellis, Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, Erwin Wurm, Atelier Van Lieshout, and Pedro Cabrita Reis.

Price: Contact Elisabetta Cipriani.


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