A Gift List for Art Christmas

by Corinna Kirsch and Whitney Kimball on December 3, 2014 Gift List

Marc Swanson in the 2015 Art F City Calendar

Marc Swanson in the 2015 Art F City Calendar

December has come, which means it’s time to get a new calendar. The time has also come to spend your money prudently on art criticism books, or blow it on ostrich pillows. Cyber Monday may be over, but the Internet still offers an abundance of cheap art purchases in time for Christmas.

$1 – $1,000,000+

Art Blogs
Donate to an art blog. (In fact, any arts nonprofit). Based on our experience, I’m assuming here that we all need the money: The St. Claire, theartblog, artcity, Rhizome, Two Coats, Bushwick Daily (time’s ticking), and last but not least, Art F City.


e-books on Klaus.net are possibly the most affordable artworks coming out of the Manhattan Gallery System. At a meager three bucks, you can get any of their titles, including Alien She, Template Jams, and TG-30. And support a mix of well-known and emerging Internet-based artists.

$6 – $210

Artists Space Bookstore
At Artists Space, you’ll find a long list of works from the art criticism, artist book, and literary canon—Julie Ault (highly recommend), J.G. Ballard, Bob Nickas, with book selections by organizations like Primary Information and the Raqs Media Collective. (May our calendar someday make it into their ranks.) Any purchase from this store would probably make me a better critic.

$15 – $25

Matte Magazine
Former AFC Staffer Matthew Leifheit swiftly moved up to VICE photo editor, probably due to his discerning eye for fresh talent. This is evident from his self-published photo magazine MATTE, which has featured Rachel Stern, Paul Strand, and Henry Hornstein, among many others. For $25, you can purchase the Matte Yearbook, a curated selection of images by Matte Magazine contributors and Leifheit. Each image builds upon the last, and the thoughtful full-page layout emphasizes their beauty.

Xaviera Simmons in Art F City's 2015 Calendar

Xaviera Simmons in Art F City’s 2015 Calendar

$24 – $120

The online art print shop 20×200 is incredibly reasonably priced. You can get prints of artwork by William Wegman, Walker Evans, William Powhida, or Penelope Umbrico, all for under $100.

 $50 – $2,500

Our Panda-Themed Calendar of Artists in the N00D by Rachel Stern
Buy our panda calendar. Objectively, this is the best art gift ever. Don’t ask how we landed on the concept of artists as pandas in the nude, in a classical setting (it’s a long story), but the results are absolutely beautiful. And add to that, the calendars come with all of the year’s crucial events: the Whitney Museum opening, the art fairs, Bruce High Quality’s next semester enrollment deadline…International Caps Lock Day…to name a few. This is something you’ll want to treasure long after 2015. And for $2,500, our most generous patrons can enjoy a full portfolio of limited-edition prints of the calendar images by Rachel Stern. 

$60 – $2,500

Printed Matter Membership
Your loved one will cherish this membership to Printed Matter all year long. For as low as $60 ($35 tax-deductible), you can help young artists get their foot in the door, and in turn get 10% off on all purchases. Special gifts come with every membership level; I’d personally want the $1,000 membership, which comes with four hand-picked selections throughout the year of out-of-print and signed titles. I imagine that A.A. Bronson will assemble your packages with care.


The Ostrich Pillow
The gift that I want to recommend is perfect for all the jet-setters in the art-world. It’s soft, wearable, and will freak out your colleagues. I want it, though! And I want to give it to all my overworked friends. If I had an OstrichPillow, I’d be able to take a nap on the flight to Miami. I might even get some rest on the long subway stretch to the Studio Museum in Harlem. Who cares if we all look like extras out of The Cremaster Cycle? At least we’ll be bringing our A-game to the day.

$100- ?

Every day is Giving Tuesday on Paddle8. Rest in the knowledge that pretty much anything on the site goes to a good cause.

Molly Soda in Art F City's 2015 Calendar

Molly Soda in Art F City’s 2015 Calendar


Artists Space Scarves
I can live without the art totes and T-shirts, but when you put art on a silk scarf, I am a sucker. Apparently they’re no longer selling Metahaven scarves. Years later, I still consider this the gift that got away.


Glenn Ligon Tote
So long as the Studio Museum continues to produce A+ programming, we will buy whatever tote or postcard or book they’re putting out. (Or we’ll wish we could, since we won’t be able to afford this). Transport your necessities inside of art, with a $225 Glenn Ligon tote. With Ligon’s signature black-and-white palette goes with any wardrobe. Just look at our nipple pasties.

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