The Art of Gifting Art

Collaborations between artists and companies distill the essence of an artist. That’s why they make great gifts.

Cara Blumstein

Sun, Nov 28, 2021

The Art of Gifting Art
(Photo: The Andy Warhol Museum via Facebook. Unknown photographer, Andy Warhol and his Christmas tree in the Factory, 1964)

Collaborations between artists and brands have made it easy for anyone, not just fancy art collectors, to bring exciting, surprising or playful objects by their favorite artists into their lives, homes, and wardrobes. Must-have collaborations celebrate the most recognizable elements of an artist’s practice and bring them into a new, unexpected, and more accessible form. We picked a few of the best collabs from the most popular artists on the market—and on LiveArt. Pick one up for someone special (yes, you count).

 

David Shrigley

Urban Outfitters/Third Drawer Down

Third Drawer Down I've Done Everything Mug x David Shrigley

David Shrigley is best known for his combination of child-like aesthetics with decidedly adult, dead-pan humor. In his work with Third Drawer Down, the Australian houseware company whose previous artist collaborations include Louise Bourgeois, Judy Chicago, Guerrilla Girls, Alex Katz, and Mickalene Thomas, Shrigley takes everyday objects and subverts them. The slogans on his coffee mug match whichever way you approach the day. Is your morning cup the last respite before climbing a metaphorical mountain of work? Or is the first  caffeine-laden sip enough to make you feel you’ve reached the invincible peak?  Either way, Shrigley sums it up.


Danielle Orchard

DDT Store by AllRightsReserved

"Twin Picnic" Display

Danielle “Dani” Orchard made her auction debut just this November when her Two Bathers attracted a six-figure sum. The sale was the first indication of just how popular her scenes of feminine leisure had become. Orchard’s female nudes are not your classic muse figures; they lounge on their own terms, accompanied by booze and cigarettes, sitting in intimate interior situations. DDT Store has produced editioned sculptures that bring Orchard’s figures into your home, where they can lounge onto your tabletop. Arranged facing one another, the two figures share a moment of relaxation together, or, looking out onto the room, they share that moment with you.

 

KAWS

sacai/Nike

sacai x KAWS

Brian Donnelly, better known as KAWS, has made collectibles an essential part of his artistic body of work. Many other artists try to follow the path he has paved with his highly sought-after figurines that fall somewhere between sculpture and toy. His main recurring character Companion, a Mickey-mouse-like figure with Xes for eyes, appears in his work a variety of colors, textures, and styles. In his collaboration with Japanese luxury fashion brand sacai and Nike, KAWS adorns a low-top sneaker with some of his playful details, a custom color scheme, and his signature double XX motif on the midsole. The shoe will be released in a limited quantity drop at 10:00 AM sharp on December 10th. If you can score one, you might want to make this a gift to yourself.

 

Will Cotton

Ippolita

Will Cotton Charm Holder Necklace in 18k Gold

Will Cotton creates scenes of total desire by combining sugary sweet aesthetics with traditional elements of landscape painting and portraiture. Italian jewelry brand Ippolita, known for their signature lollipop rings, has brought Cotton’s treacly objects into the three-dimensional, wearable realm. The glass and ceramic charms of the cluster necklace resemble Cotton’s signature candy pieces, and the reflective surfaces appear particularly delicious. Translating Cotton’s candy compositions into jewelry pieces, Ippolita uses precious materials to capture their delectability. These deceivingly decadent pieces also have an altruistic side: 50% of the proceeds from this collaboration go to the Brooklyn Museum.

 

  

Jeff Koons

Uniqlo

Jeff Koons Collection

KAWS may have made the collectible an art form, but Jeff Koons was the first to recognize that the collectible could be art. His re-rendering of everyday objects in unexpected materials and finishes raise questions about consumerism and the search for uncomplicated joy. Koons’ collaboration with Japanese clothing company Uniqlo inverts his work. Instead of blow-up toys turned into ponderous metal objects, Koons’s famous and frequently copied balloon dog (amongst a few of his other works) is printed on sweatshirts and tee-shirts to be worn around the world. 

 

Virgil Abloh

Artspace

"TEMPORARY", 2019

Virgil Abloh was an American fashion designer whose explorations of mass production, appropriation, and reproduction drew from the work of Jeff Koons, Andy Warhol, and Marcel Duchamp. In turn, his own work was compared to those artists. His thought-provoking use of text, sandwiched between quotation marks, adorned his designs. "You can use typography and wording to completely change the perception of a thing,” Abloh once explained, “without changing anything about it." This can be seen in Abloh’s “TEMPORARY”, originally released on November 1st, 2019 and now being sold on Artspace. The work is a monochrome white clock with a face unencumbered by numbers. On the clock’s transparent cover, the word “TEMPORARY,” is written in white. Originally, it invoked the passing of time and the stubborn fact that numbers cannot slow it with a label. With the designer’s recent death at the age of 41, the work becomes even more evocative of Abloh’s practice and a fitting reminder of his spirit.