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Unwrapped: The Art Lover’s Gift Guide

Culture

All the pretty things

Tis officially the season for gift-giving. For us, that’s a full month (31 days!) in which we’ll be providing gift ideas for everyone on your list with our Unwrapped holiday gift guides. So make your holiday shopping a breeze this season, and let us help you find gifts for all the people in your life—and maybe even a spoiled pet or two.

I won't lie, I sometimes have a hard time keeping... on theme with gift guides. Possibly this is because I just have a difficult time with categorization in general. Like, am I an art lover? Sure! But I'm also a sleep lover and an... other things lover. To be honest, I kind of love everything a little bit, and then some things, well... some things I love too much. And I assume it's the same for everyone else for whom I'm shopping.

All to say, here is a list of gifts that any art lover in your life will like, and maybe even love as much as they love... art. Partly they will like these things because they are all beautiful—even if, in some cases, the beauty is not immediately apparent. And partly they will love these things because it is you who are giving these gifts to them. What a treat.

One final note before, you know, diving in: Some of these gifts are geared toward the "art lover," some toward the "artist," and some toward that most interesting of creatures, "the artist lover." The latter probably needs one of these gifts most of all.


Photo courtesy of Meromi Studios

Ohad Meromi, Sunset Lamp, price upon request, available at meromi.studio.

This graciously curving lamp has a wit and brightness to it that makes me think I wouldn't even need to turn it on for it to light up a room. But it is, of course, fully functional and so is the kind of highly coveted home decor item that is both practical and beautiful, the latter in a singularly playful way. The piece is the first of its kind of sculptor Ohad Meromi, who has had his work shown in places like the Serpentine Gallery in London, and MoMA PS 1 in New York. Get this as a gift for the art lover in your life and be, you know, adored forever for your fine taste and appreciation for the utilitarian needs of even the most artistic among us.

She considers herself "one of the luckiest kids on the face of the earth"

Dani Okon, NYLON's associate creative director of video, sat down with her great-aunt, May Okon, to talk about their shared experiences—despite vastly different time frames—living as queer women in New York City. Prior to retirement, May was a journalist for the New York Daily News, having first entered the male-dominated workforce when "the boys were all at war." And, of course, she absolutely killed it. Her only regret? "Retiring at 55," she tells Dani, joking, "Who the hell knew I was gonna live to 100?"

Upon retiring, she moved out to the Hamptons with her partner and bought a home. If she had to do it all over, May says "there are a lot of things I wouldn't do," but she still considers herself "one of the luckiest kids on the face of the earth." Get to know May in the video, above.

Check out the other videos in our series where we placed queer people from different generations in conversation with one another:

Rob Smith and Eddie Jarrel Jones
Lauren Morelli and Garcia
Marlene Colburn and Naima Green
Ashlee Marie Preston and Devan Diaz

Produced by: Alexandra Hsie
Camera: Gretta Wilson + Katie Sadler
Edited by: Madeline Stedman

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Here's how they're making sure it doesn't happen

Lauren Morelli, the showrunner and executive producer for the new Netflix show Tales of the City, is fostering a space where multiple queer realities can be shown on-screen. She spoke with one of the cast members, trans actor Garcia (who plays Jake Rodriguez on the show), and, in the video above, they explore why it's wrong to treat queer stories as representative of the entire community. Tokenization is something that they both want to avoid at all costs, and they're on the right track.

Check out the other videos in our series where we placed queer people from different generations in conversation with one another:

Dani and May Okon
Rob Smith and Eddie Jarrel Jones
Naima Green and Marlene Colburn
Ashlee Marie Preston and Devan Diaz

Produced by Alexandra Hsie
Directed by Charlotte Prager
Shot by Gretta Wilson + Charlotte Prager
Edited by Gretta Wilson

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"Nothing is truly a binary"

We put non-binary activist Eddie Jarrel Jones and The Phluid Project founder Rob Smith in conversation with each other, and the two spoke some powerful truths about the continued gendering of products like makeup and clothing. Smith recalls that 30 years ago, the only way that he was able to experience the joys of playing with makeup was to work at a beauty counter. Even today, Jones notes that it's hard for non-binary femmes like them, or even trans women, to get that experience in stores.

In the video above, get a sense of why Smith created a genderless store, and see how important it is for people like Jones to have a space where they don't feel criticized for dressing like they want.

Check out the other videos in our series where we placed queer people from different generations in conversation with one another:

Dani and May Okon
Lauren Morelli and Garcia
Naima Green and Marlene Colburn
Ashlee Marie Preston and Devan Diaz

Produced by Alexandra Hsie
Directed by Charlotte Prager
Shot by Charlotte Prager + Dani Okon
Edited by Gretta Wilson

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We put the two activists in conversation

Marlene Colburn, one of the founders of the Dyke March, and Naima Green, an artist currently working on a project and archive called Pur·suit, which will document queer people of all identities, agree that it's really hard to find lesbian spaces that aren't bars. Just as hard, it seems, is to find lesbian representation that isn't white. In the video above, the two talk about how they are creating space for queer people and what that looks like within two different generations.

Check out the other videos in our series where we placed queer people from different generations in conversation with one another:

Dani and May Okon
Rob Smith and Eddie Jarrel Jones
Lauren Morelli and Garcia
Ashlee Marie Preston and Devan Diaz

Produced by Alexandra Hsie
Directed by Charlotte Prager
Shot by Dani Okon + Charlotte Prager
Edited by Charlotte Prager

Illustrated by Sarah Lutkenhaus

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