my make believe holiday shopping guide

Contributor post by Lisa Solomon

instead of my normal grandiose impossible dreams of art purchases, jan asked if i would be interested in providing a holiday shopping guilde since tis the season.

i thought i'd try [operative word here - try] to focus on art. affordable art and artful made objects by artists that don't cost an arm and a leg and realizing that is a relative term i set a limit of $300 for myself. so here are some goodies i've found. hope you enjoy !

GROUP 1 :: "things" made by artists. it goes with out saying that artists are "creatives" right? sometimes they branch off making smaller versions of things that they normally make [often in edition] or they go off on a tangent all together and make something completely different, or they add their signature style to something useful. i say hooray to all these.

1. yayoi kusama is an icon in the art world. her installations/environments, clothing, soft sculptures, etc.  are like none other [and certainly influential]. she made a series of soft sculptures with lamm from the concept store. these little polka dot pumpkins are about $92 US dollars [7140 yen] - the site is in japanese and i'm not entirely sure they would ship internationally but it's a GREAT site with a lot of amazing artist goods.

2. allan mccollum is a big time artist - just watch his art 21 clip [or others]. cereal art presents "thanks" - resin bars made by mcollum that you can keep for yourself or give-a-way as a physical embodiment of your sentiments. $55. cereal art has a bunch of other amazing editions too.

3. marcel dzama is an all time fav. at some art fair at some point in time i wandered into electric works' booth and saw a RECORD made by him. really? vinyl? since my husband is vinyl enthusiast and i a dzama enthusiast i knew immediately it was coming home with me. his music sounds like you imagine his art would if it started making music all of a sudden. $30

4. i am lucky enough to own an alyson fox drawing. when i spied that she was adding her magical touch to ceramics... well yeah. wouldn't that make an amazing table. yes. it would. above is the tug serving platter. $80 but the whole collection is pretty awesome.

GROUP 2 :: the gift that keeps on giving - an artsy subscription.

1. jonn herschend and will rogan - two pretty amazing artists in their own right - started a quarterly publication they call the thing. 4 times a year they send out an artist design "thing" that includes text. it's an eclectic curated mix - a proverbial who's who in the arts and just a damn fine concept. you can purchase back issues singularly for $60-75 - or splurge for a subscription for $200.

2. the first time i got my hands on a parkett i didn't put it down for i think 4 hours? it's a beautiful publication that really gives you an in depth look at a handfull of artists in each issue. it's $78 for 2 a year subscription [2 issues] $148 for 2 years. they also do a handful of pretty incredible artist editions and publish other artist monographs. sigh sigh.

GROUP 3 :: enormous tiny art. nahcotta gallery is responsible for hosting a the best showcase for tiny art. if you want real art - small in scale - this could be your one stop shop.

1. oil painting by emily gaimes demsky $275

2. winter bird paper collage by betsy thompson $150

but don't stop there - other standouts: kate bingham burt, ian dingham, jennifer judd-mcgee, monica soeldner

GROUP 4 :: great small sculpture. maybe you want something 3D. well....

1. SCUBA is having a show at rare device right now - and you can't go wrong with clunky cute sculptures like color test, right? $50 find one that suits you !

2. if your [or your recipient's] holiday dream is to go to amsterdam - and there's no swinging that - how bout a row of canal houses by laurie post/ARTISANEeurope $229.


louise naunton morgan and friends are human printers. really they are. you send them a photo and they will hand generate your image using a CYMK or grayscale benday dot pattern. [yeah. i think this is genius]. pricing varies depending on what you'd like them to print. info on how to order here

GROUP 5 :: printy prints

1. i wrote about jennifer starkweather - a while back. you can get this amazing print for $40. electric works. they have a whole series of $40 prints. how can you go wrong? [another fav - katherine sherwood]

2. you know tiny showcase. we love tiny showcase. occasionally i'm amazed when a print doesn't sell out. like this caroline hwang one? w h h a a  t t?? you can get one. $20.

3. i also wrote about christine buckton tillman. littlepaper planes delivers the goods with this print. it's gorgeous - AND BIG 42" x 48" for $225. oh that's so nice.  or go drool at all their exclusive art works. 

4. i have been a fan of jason munn since the first small stakes poster i saw online - it might have been last century? years and years ago at least. this is his latest set for SFMOMA. $100 for all four - $30 each. retro modern goodness.

GROUP 6 :: supplies. you want to make stuff? you need the right supplies. here are some things that i wish i owned, i own, or will own maybe very soon.

1. want a ecologically friendly, made in usa, amazing sketchbook in a cool color? yes. you do. try ecosystems notebooks. there are blank ones, grid ones, ruled ones. hard covers, soft covers. did i mention cool colors - and several sizes? AND [this is my favorite part] you can get inserts to add to-do lists, or calendars or whatever. smart. smart. triple smart. $9.95 and up.

2. want ONE pen to carry around. try this one. 5 colors and a mechanical pencil? sigh. i love mine. muji. $5.95

3. maybe you made a pinhole camera out of a shoebox in the 4th grade like me. maybe you want to try pinhole photography again. maybe you want one that looks a bit cooler than a shoe box? you can have it. a few hours, some 35mm film and voila - you could be taking some ultra cool photos. $25 from the curiosity shoppe

4. what is not to love about crayons? and BEESWAX crayons? yeah. if i get these for my daughter i bet you a million bucks i'll use them more than her. $16.95 from quincy art supplies.

GROUP 7 :: lets end on some robots. because just because if it's got a robot on it i probably want it.

1. silicone robot baking shells. need i say more? $19.99 at Pmart

2. stencil your way to robot heaven. robobox stencil kit from uncommon goods. $10

phew. that's a lot of good stuff. hopefully you found something that might suit someone on your list. till next time....


lisa solomon is a mixed media artist who lives in oakland, CA with her husband, young daughter, a one eyed pit bull, a french bulldog, a cross-eyed cat, a 3 legged cat, and many many spools of thread. she moonlights as a college professor, a graphic designer, and is a partner in MODify/d a crafty biz that up/cycles and re/purposes discards from the fashion industry.

Jan Halvarson


Unknown said...

I'm sure my kids would love these silicone robot baking shells.

Dita Maulani said...

I can't pick one! Loving all the picks!


Jacaranda Designs Jewelry said...

Love everything but I'd really like some of those little robot baking shells. I know they''d be a hit with the kids.

Mandy Behrens said...

How lovely! I can't wait to share your art finds with friends and family. Thanks for highlighting affordable art. Cheers and happy holidays!