Pyjamas are great - and a chocolate orange, essential - but the most meaningful Christmas present for someone you love, is surely a carefully chosen piece of art. (An added incentive to finding something fabulous, is if you’re sharing the abode that said artwork will inhabit.) If, like me, you spend hours trawling the internet for artwork that you both love and can afford, then you’re in luck with this year’s offerings from the Affordable Art Fair. With something for every budget (pieces range from £100 to £6,000), here are my 10 recommended picks for a Christmas gift.
Pandora's Top Ten Christmas Gift Ideas
A Delft inspired porcelain heart - but with a clutch of aortas. This print of an anatomically correct heart shape lends a quirky twist to a traditional classic (my favourite kind of combination). Hang this against a dark wall for a striking contrast.
A pair of zebras, merrily trotting across a zebra crossing; this print is a no-brainer. The pun is straight-forward enough to make it work in a nursery, or play room and jaunty enough for a family kitchen. Win win.
There’s something deliciously Lynchian about this oil painting: a Slim Aarons-esque swimming pool which is as tranquil as it is eerie. I’d like it for my bathroom, please.
As soon as I saw this photograph of an old lady smoking a cigar, by James Sparshatt, I knew I had to have it. The black and white photograph is a saturated medium - oft lent to repetition - but this is original, empathetic and with a dash of joie de vivre. Everything I look for in a portrait.
I love gold and yellow tones - my sitting room has a loveseat in saffron velvet and a sofa in tumeric chenille - and I’m drawn to figures of women. There’s a sense of mystery to this dancer. Is she happy? Is she sad? We can only muse upon her mood and inspiration.
Marble and 24K gold leaf; this sculpture by Kuno Vollet is as elegant and luxurious as it is enthralling. The bull’s eye - or is it a pupil? - draws you right in, whilst the understated colour palette makes it a quiet, rather than shouty, addition to any home. A truly chic Christmas present.
I’m drawn to colour and shape more than I am anything else. Like Calder, Chowwai Cheung brings together simple shapes in a layered, complex way. For a more masculine home, or if you love geometric shapes, this piece is beautiful.
I’m fascinated by a space which is meant to be filled with people - a raucous, rammed enclave - caught in repose. This cafe, ready to be transformed by its customers, is waiting to be ascribed meaning and personality from the favela. I’d go meta with this and hang it in my kitchen.
Scandinavian design is huge on the high street right now and a mono print is an apt, Pinterest-worthy companion. It’s a jolly addition and will slot right into any cosy interior.
As you may have gathered, I like people shot in black and white; and I specifically like OAPs in black and white. This photograph just brings a smile to my face: the woman sunbathing with a slice of something slotted under her sunglasses; the man in a full suit next to a man in a wife beater; the woman covering her face in shock whilst the woman above her snoozes peacefully. What are they watching? The sea? The tennis? Who knows. But it’s delightful and anyone would be lucky to receive this as a Christmas present.
Detail of Samuel Field's Bandstand II.