Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Incredible Art Gifts For The Holiday Season (That Don't Yet Exist)

Calendars! Monthly calendars and tchotchkes. That's the Thomas Kinkade approach to gift giving: Culture as knickknack. Slap the Mona Lisa on a mug. Stick a picture of Monet's water lilies on a mousepad, and you're done. But do we really have to settle for such obvious choices? If you're a supporter of the visual arts, you should want gifts that are both more fun and more meaningful. I certainly do, and I've put together a list of the art-related gifts I'd like to see this holiday season.

Edvard Munch's "The Scream" front-load washer sticker

Because the only thing worse than being trapped in a state of existential dread is being trapped in a laundromat, right?

The Haringizer! mobile phone app

Upload a picture of yourself to this app, and, using state-of-the-art morphing technology, it will produce a unique, one-of-a-kind customized portrait of yourself—the way Keith Haring would have done it!

Jenny Holzer converter

Holzer's 'truisms': so pithy and incisive. But who has time to read them? This filter would convert them to links so you would be able to fit them into your schedule.

Pablo Picasso "Guernica" PowerPoint template

Compared to the unspeakable horrors of war, the unspeakable horrors of your 3rd quarter sales presentation won't seem so bad.

Rembrandt's "The Storm on the Sea of Galilee"

Remember how this painting was stolen from Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990? Dear whoever took it: you've had it long enough. Plenty of people would like to see this in their stocking, hint, hint.

"Fruit Freshetta" fruit arrangements, inspired by Frank Frazetta

Few people can afford an original painting from Frank Frazetta, the iconic 20th-century fantasy painter known for his throbbing and voluptuous depictions of musclebound men and buxom women. But a throbbing and voluptuous fruit arrangement that looks exactly like a Frazetta would be a lot more affordable, and also delicious!

The Upper West Side

We can't all be daring and cool like Banksy, inconspicuously slipping in and out of urban neighborhoods and spray painting bold images onto the sides of buildings. At least not without getting caught. But if somebody would simply give me the entire Upper West Side as a gift, I'd gladly use it to practice my spray painting technique until I got it right. I'd also accept Gowanus, Bushwick, or Jersey City.

H. R. Giger pasta

The art of this Swiss surrealist, best known for his art design for the Aliens movie franchise, is full of unsettling biomechanical imagery. I always thought it kinda looked like spaghetti. What would it be like with a little marinara?

Not an actual Lexus with a bow on it in your driveway, but a sculpture of a Lexus with a bow on it in your driveway (inspired by Andy Warhol)

Get it?

Sadly, this marks the year's close on the Reviewing With Light series, which began last January. Remember?

Drew Dernavich is a cartoonist for the New Yorker magazine (not that cartoonist – the other one) and the co-creator of the cartoon improv show Fisticuffs! He is on Twitter.

11 Comments / Post A Comment

PoignancySelz (#238,693)

The Lexus commercials this year seem to be a little less smug and self-assured. So there's that.

nonvolleyball (#9,329)

@PoignancySelz fun fact: they don't actually sell those red bows! my parents got a (used) Lexus around Christmastime a while back & wanted to put a bow on the old car they were handing down to us. & literally no one at the Lexus dealership had any idea how to procure one.

I have loved everything about this series.

BTW, is there a word for Kinkade-like art? I mean besides Kinkade-like or Kinkadian or some such? Is there an actual art world school that could be described as part of (besides kitsch or trash), or should we just go ahead and name the whole genre after him? I guess he could be compared to say, Rococo, but that doesn't seem exactly right, does it? The more damaged part of my brain keeps wondering about this when I see a kinkaderiffic work of art.

sox (#652)


@sox: But that's too broad! I was thinking of something more specific than a genre that includes both dogs playing poker, Elvis on velvet and Kincade. How else will I be able to describe what I want for Christmas?

daemonsquire (#9,523)

Crossing the eyes a bit, to overlap the Fruit Freshetta images, really helps one appreciate the mastery of the fruit arrangement. That may also apply to the Reviewer of Light series, as a whole, but looking at the fruit, it's apparent the ”leg” banana should be a bit past ripe, and I'm not sure how to work that into a metaphor for what a delight the year of Reviews has been. Thanks, Drew.

~ swinton (#217,366)

That Banksy's in Bristol

Maybe Jeff Koons could do the bow on the Lexus sculpture

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