Expert Guide: Giving Original Art as Gifts

holidaybanner While you are deciding between another tie or a new age fruitcake that involves some bizarre bacon-raisin combination, your hip and trendy friends are giving the gift of art. Why? Because it's personal, and it shows you care. It also helps fill that swimming-pool-sized dead space above their couch in the living room. But gifting art can be scary; it says just as much about you as it does the other person. So how do you find something amazing that will have you basking in the warm glow of your own impeccable taste and will have your friend's guests wanting to know where they can acquire their own fabulous piece? Utilize Phillips' insider tips and check out his top picks from his choice online resources.


header1 Start with a place that curates its selection. This will help you weed through the sea of less-than-stellar artists and find something unique and original. header2 Consider the receiver's interests, whether it be horses, weird porcelain dolls, or a love of nature. Pick something that represents them. header3 Take a look around the recipient's home to figure out what would work well with their existing color palettes and decor. Would they prefer something modern or are they channeling bohemian chic? If there is any confusion over their preference, stick to something neutral. Black and white goes with everything and other neutral colors, like beige, charcoal, and sepia, find comfort amongst all decor. header4 When someone opens a fantastic gift, they want to show it off! Make sure your art is ready to hang by getting it framed prior to wrapping it up. I suggest no bigger than a 20" x 30" piece so that there are multiple installation options. Make sure you include a note that offers some insight into your choice. Art is a meaningful gift, and is always more enjoyable when you know the story behind it.


header2 PurePhoto is one of the better-kept secrets, as they primarily deal direct to top interior designers and hotels worldwide. Experience a beautiful and clean shopping environment for photography, which offers prints, finishing services, and worldwide delivery. It's a favorite among the worlds top design professionals, because the options have been meticulously curated based on current design trends.
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 Starfall by Alicia Bock, from $150, PurePhoto  Beach Series VI by Cheryl Maeder, from $1500, PurePhoto  Graphic Winter Day by Ari Salmela, from $180, PurePhoto
header3 Tapiture is a site to discover, share, and buy the best of the web. Think: Pinterest with a refined aesthetic, where you can shop your favorite items. Former curator and gallery director in Los Angeles, Alexis Jonnson now works with Tapiture's buyers to curate unique art their community will love. Prices range from $30 to $3,500.
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 Subway Sexx, $159, Tapiture  American Dream on Reclaimed Wood, $431, Tapiture  Spaceboy, $159, Tapiture
header1 The brainchild of young professionals who wanted more access to affordable original art, ARTtwo50 seeks to support both artists and art enthusiasts with reasonable prices and beautiful works. All items are priced at $250 and users can preview how their selections will look in their own space via ARTtwo50's iPad app. The goods are also available for purchase through Pinterest if there's no iPad in sight.
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Spring No. 15 by Paul Harrington, $250, ARTtwo50 SINKING by Pawel Przewlocki, $250, ARTtwo50 Birds Of Paradise I by Elizabeth MD Vuong, $250, ARTtwo50
  _ryan Main Photograph: Justin Coit