We really try to ignore the more commercial propiquus/ubiquitous/iniquitous holidays (which will remain nameless) ourselves, in favor of the solstice, but sometimes you just want to give, er, a gift. How about real art, I mean real art? The gift that keeps on giving, especially if it's work by artists still very much living.
Throwing out a few suggestions for New York City sources where you cannot go wrong, in a few cases regardless of the size of your purse, and where even the very informed, helpful and always beautiful shopgirls and shopboys are as deserving as all the other parties involved in your transaction:
1.) Plus Ultra, a very cool, small Gallery in Williamsburg, will be throwing a timely "fundraising holiday party" December 19, 2002 from 7-9 pm at a loft in Manhattan. Each patron with $150 will go home with a great piece of tomorrow's cultural heritage today. Email me for more information.
2.) Printed Matter, a nonprofit in Chelsea, is a great source for gifts of "publications made by artists in a book-like format" in all price ranges. Great browsing.
3.) Pierogi 2000 a legendary nonprofit space in Williamsburg, just two short blocks from the first "L" stop outside Manhattan, has an enormous stash of important work in their famous flat files, where you are free to browse at your own pace, at prices even other starving artists can support, and do.
4.) LFL Gallery in Chelsea, at their new location on 24th Street, has their own flat file treasure, and the very charming Zach will welcome your curiosity.
5.) K48-3, "The Teen Issue," a fantastic new glossy zine and CD, Scott Hug's collaboration with other artists, writers and musicians, is available at fine stores in the area, including St. Mark's Book Store, Other Music, Mondo Kim's, Dia Center for the Arts, Printed Matter, alife, New Museum, MOMA Design Store, See Hear and Isa. Be, you and your loved ones, the very first on your blocks to own one.
6.) Mixed Greens, a lively gallery in Chelsea and art website throughout the galaxy, is also being "holiday-ish" this month, with a sale where you can easily take home beautiful light-weight packages that are not "light weight!" Explore the website.
This little list is neither exhaustive nor is it necessarily presriptive, but I am confident that it will bring pleasure to anyone who checks it out. I admit it's posted as a quick thought, and as an attempt to at least partly substitute for the genuine cheer I miss in working hard to avoid the forced cheer of this season.
Maybe I'll just go out into the woods now and bring some greens back into our little cottage, to celebrate the coming rebirth of the sun.