What the Stars of the LA Art World Want for Christmas

Clockwise from top left: Bettina Korek, Andrea Fiuczynski, Maggie Kayne, China Chow, Perry Rubenstein, Franklin Sirmans, and Catherine Opie
by Yasmine Mohseni
Published: December 23, 2012

ARTINFO got one of its presents early this year: A dedicated Los Angeles correspondent. To celebrate, we’ve asked a few Los Angeles art notables what they would like to give or receive this year, and rounded up their answers.

In case you happen to run into one of them, keep these in mind. Otherwise, perhaps it will inspire you, as you get ready to wrap presents for your loved ones.

China Chow (actress, collector, model)


— Alex Israel’s Sky Backdrop Painting

— Ted Muehling’s Celadon Egg Vase

— Hugs


— A silver painting by my father

— A private exercise class for my friends and I taught by Richard Simmons”


Catherine Opie (artist)

“The first gift would be to give all the parents in Connecticut their children back.

Second gift is to hypnotize the world against violence once and for all.

Third gift is my crazy herding dog puppy should be given to a good home on a farm.

My present: one year (only) living with Picasso’s portrait of Gertrude Stein — please, MOMA.”


Andrea Fiuczynski (president, Christie’s Los Angeles)

“Undo all random (and not-so-random, especially those cunningly premeditated and deliberate) acts of ‘art vandalism,’ such as the most recent vandalism of the Tate’s Rothko. Because works of art, like human lives, should not have to be subjected to violence.

Locate and return the paintings stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990, because it’s the right thing to do.

Shadow Andy Warhol on a Saturday night prowl in 1967 with 2012 Warhol market knowledge. Because Andy Warhol’s seemingly infinite 15 minutes of fame and universal appeal never cease to amaze, dazzle and… baffle!

Commission Cy Twombly to create a suite of site-specific Blackboard Paintings for the minimalist penthouse lighthouse loft with sweeping views overlooking the azure waters of Formentera that exists only in my head! WHY? Why not?!”


Bettina Korek (founder of ForYourArt)

A Weekend at The Lightning Field

An overnight stay is ‘de rigueur’ at Walter De Maria’s remote and seminal work of Land Art. The sparse cabin on the edge of the field — 400 polished stainless steel poles arranged in a grid measuring one mile by one kilometer — is sure to be even more difficult to reserve after restoration (made possible by Larry Gagosian and Miuccia Prada) is complete in June.

Do It, edited by Hans Ulrich Obrist

Do It began in Paris nearly 20 years ago as a conversation. The original publication has artworks in the form of do-it-yourself text instructions to be completed by the reader, exploring Marcel Duchamp’s idea that ‘art is a game between all people of all periods.’ It’s available online (the current price reflects the fact that art books are collectible), and Independent Curators International is celebrating the project with a special edition by Marina Abramovic. It’s art you can make every day.

Teuscher Champagne Truffles

Swiss über-gallery Hauser & Wirth is known for having these truffles on hand — it doesn’t get any sweeter than this.”


Maggie Kayne (co-owner of Kayne Griffin Corcoran)

“—I would love to trash a Ferrari 458 while breaking the record at the Gumball 3000 Rally.

—A Joseph Beuys Felt Suit

—A Turrell Gasworks Meditation room in my home

—To reserve Peter Zumthor’s Therme Vals for an exclusive retreat with only my closest friends and family

—An unlimited budget for my boyfriend, Aaron Sandnes, to build me the custom Yamaha sr500 brat tracker motorcycle we’ve been planning.”


Perry Rubenstein (owner and founder of Perry Rubenstein Gallery)

“There’s one gift (we gave to our daughters) that I would love to give back. The new Furby. It may be revamped but it is every bit as annoying at its vintage predecessor. Or more.

The copper mouth from Danh Vo’s ‘We the People.’ Sealed but sensuous, she speaks volumes…. As does the artist.

A sponsorship from Under Armour. I live in their clothes. They should pay me.”


Franklin Sirmans (chief curator of contemporary art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art)

“Because of the job and the nature of contemporary art, I have been fortunate enough to travel, a lot, and to diverse places. I’d like to be able to give an airline ticket for two months travel to absolutely anywhere imaginable.

John Baldessari’s ‘Tips for Artists Who Want to Sell’ magnet (yes, it can be purchased at theLACMA gift shop and Dagny Corcoran’s Art Catalogues). Baldessari’s work often traffics in the absurd. More young artists should try to create in that fertile space. Life is absurd. Baldessari’s magnet reminds you of that and how making good art can’t be taught and has very little to do with what actually sells.

In terms of artwork, Sam Durant has made significant installations that would be great for museums, but I wouldn’t mind receiving one of his smaller sculptures. A [Jesus Rafael] Soto “Penetrable” for my backyard wouldn’t hurt either.

It would be great for chef Govind Armstrong to come to my house and cook for my family.”

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