Buying a beautiful piece of art is an intensely personal endeavor when buying for oneself, and an intensely freaky endeavor when buying for someone else. But maybe you’ve got a loved one who is mostly tasteful human being except for their home décor. Does the thought of seeing that Thomas Kincaid painting of the sweet little house in the snowy woods again at Christmas dinner this year make you want to test out particularly sticky dressing recipes with which to muss up that virgin precipitation? Or possibly it’s time to get your younger brother out of the Widespread Panic poster phase? (Sure he’s 35, but baby steps.)
Here’s a very brief guide to some local Dallas artists and their wares if you’re looking for something local and not pre-packaged in tons of non-biodegradable plastic and/or withered souls of your unborn children.
For the hip: Look no further than wunderkind graffiti artist turned legit artist, Tony Bones and his mildly disturbing yet disturbingly cute stick figures. Bones has a criminal record and a disarming smile, which has not much to do with his art, but makes for good talking points when someone asks your gift recipient about the drooling stick figure with accompanying stick-genitalia.
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For the thinker: Consider Public Trust gallery founder Brian Gibb’s aesthetically pleasing yet thought-provoking excellence. According to his MetroBlogging bio, Gibb’s work is “is a cross pollination between the sensitivity of fine art and the elements and principles of design.” A fine example would be this rather affordable screen printed poster.
For the picturesque: Dallas has a bevy of fine photographers with styles to suit every taste. Allison V. Smith is the queen of Americana (or, better, Texicana). Hal Samples captures soul with every shot. Sarah Jane Semrad has a beautifully haunting aesthetic. If there’s a local music fan on your list, chances are good Kate Mackley’s got an excellent shot.
For the undecided: Take the object of your buying power to this year’s Art Conspiracy on December 9. There, many kinds of media collide in a whirlwind 24-hour period. Dallas’ finest fine artists have one day to fill as many canvases as possible. Then, you stroll in at the end and start bidding. All you have to do is stick a bow on it and make them wait till Christmas. --Andrea Grimes