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 bit.ly converter
Holzer’s ‘truisms': so pithy and incisive. But who has time to read them? This filter would convert them to bit.ly 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)
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.