By guest blogger, Emily A. Seaman
Glossy postcards of many museums’ Doric-columned façades find their way into to mothers’ countryside mailboxes, and tissue-wrapped coffee mugs painted with Andy Warhol quips are often born home with care, only to chip and be secreted away in corners of cupboards no one ever cares to dust. For some museum visitors, purchasing souvenirs is part of the obligatory gallery-going experience of the twenty-first century, just as snapping selfies in front of Cézannes is to others. But trinkets like key rings and coloured pencil sets are for tight-fisted tourists. T-shirts can be tedious. And some might sigh that Pollock-stained stationary went stale years ago.
Fortunately, for the discerning patron of the gift shop, Saatchi Store offers a wide range of quality mementos at price points which reflect eccentrically refined taste and predilections to spend cash in the name of Art.
Designed and hand-crafted by Esa Evans, Lady Muck of Whitstable, this bold declaration of a collar bone-grazing necklace will have people itching to give you compliments. My, what fascinating insects about your throat!
Gold-plated and laser-cut, the ‘Ants’ stainless steel choker boasts a subtle chic and a bit of naturalist flair á la Darwin, and would look smashing styled with ensembles entailing everything from grungy graphic tees to smartly tailored cocktail frocks. The piece also fashionably reflects artwork from Saatchi Gallery’s newest exhibition, Pangaea: New Art From Africa and Latin America, in which Rafael Gómezbarros’ thick-bodied resin, fibre glass, and cotton screen ants swarm and trace chaotic geometries across the white walls and ceilings with skinny, twig-hewn legs.
Flavourless academic catalogues, remain seated on your shelves.
Toilet Paper is not a text for the weak-stomached or prudish-minded, but a showy hybrid beast spawned of magazines and artist books. The deluxe volume proffers no blocky paragraphs or even blurbs of text; employed singularly by the artist-authors Maurizio Cattelan and Pier Paolo Ferrari are spreads of Vogue-grade colour photographs which deliver otherworldly or downright ghastly images. For eighty-five pounds sterling, one can forever harness infamously garish scenes of a man dressed as a nun shooting up in a sleazy bedroom, and a dirt-crusted ear floating in a bowl of canary-tinted soup—as well as many previously unpublished images—in one handsomely bound hard cover book.
These are by absolutely no means your sweet Granny’s vessels for storing seasonings.
Designed by the artist David Shrigley in quintessentially wry and witty form, this pair of white fine bone China cylinders–slightly sadly misshapen–is produced entirely in England and is sure to add zest to any humorist’s table. Brazenly labelled ‘Cocaine’ and ‘Heroin’ these shakers will likely ensure that no one ever over salts their dinner for fear of becoming a rampant addict of street drugs or potatoes au gratin. What better way to incorporate Saatchi Gallery into your culinary repertoire?
For those among us with Swiss bank accounts and pockets so deep they probe subterranean levels, a numbered artist-edition print is the ultimate Saatchi Store purchase.
Hand-signed boldly by the titan of contemporary art himself, this printed etching is one of only sixty-eight in existence, and comes from the portfolio In a spin: the Action of the World on Things, Volume 1. To undertake such work, Hirst dabbled in a complexly time-consuming method characterised by intimate (occasionally perilous) physical intervention by the artist, during which copper plates fixed to the spin machine revolved at dizzying velocities. Burning Wheel comes sleekly framed in a black support that accentuates the molten orange hues which swirl lava-like across this exquisite keepsake. If you can’t find room for tanks of formaldehyde-seeped sharks or infant cows in your abode, whether a humble pied-à-terre or a veritable palazzo, perhaps give this less dramatic, and less pickled, piece of Mr. Hirst a try.