Artsy holiday gifts according to yours truly

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I know, my friends, how busy you are, readying yourselves for the holidays. So, I want to share with you a secret of avoiding the headache of holiday shopping. Are you ready? Here it comes – a list of a few amazing art books that you should buy for your friends, and maybe yourself as well.

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(L) Catalog for The Getty Museum’s Golden Kingdoms: Luxury Arts in the Ancient Americas. Getty Publications. Image courtesy The Getty. (R) Cover of Caravaggio: Life Sacred and Profane. W. W. Norton & Company. Image courtesy

The splendid catalog for The Getty’s current exhibition, Golden Kingdoms: Luxury Arts in the Ancient Americas, features gilded burial masks, nose ornaments, breastplates, headdresses, and more from about 1000 BC to the early 16th century.

The newly published biography of Caravaggio, A Life Sacred and Profane, by Andrew Graham Dixon. It’s particularly timely, considering the current Getty Museum exhibition of three extremely rare Caravaggio paintings from the Borghese Gallery, Rome, Italy. 

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(L) Catalog for Chagall and Music. Gallimard Publishing. Image courtesy (R) Catalog for LACMA’s Playing with Fire: Paintings by Carlos Almaraz. Image courtesy LACMA. 

The catalog for the fascinating international traveling exhibition Chagall and Music , which is in Los Angeles at LACMA through January 7. Costumes, set designs, and paintings by Chagall for operas and ballet productions grace the pages of this catalog, bringing his artwork to life.

Another catalog for recently closed eye-catching exhibition at LA County Museum is Playing with Fire: Paintings by Carlos Almaraz , devoted to works by one of the most famous Los Angeles Chicano artists, Carlos Almaraz (1941-1989). 

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(L) Cover of Unpacking the Marciano Collection. Prestel Publishing. Image courtesy Marciano Art Foundation.  (R) James hd Brown: Life and Work in Mexico catalog cover. Photograph by Edward Goldman.

Unpacking the Marciano Collection is a catalog for the inaugural exhibition of the recently opened Marciano Art Foundation. After years passing the former Masonic Temple on Wilshire Boulevard, we are invited to step inside and enjoy not only the collection of the Marciano brothers, but also the amazing renovation of the building by Kulapat Yantrasast of wHY Architecture.

As part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, USC Fisher Museum of Art presents a solo exhibition of American artist James hd Brown who has lived and worked in Mexico for the last two decades. The catalog for this exhibition, James hd Brown: Life and Work in Mexico, was made by his own publishing company, Carpe Diem Press, and only 1000 copies were produced of this high quality, exquisitely printed limited edition. 

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(L) Cover of Enrique Martínez Celaya: 1990–2015: A Monograph from the Studio Archive. Radius Books. Image courtesy (R) Cover of John Nava. Sacred Material: The Art of the Tapestries of Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels. Angel City Press. Image courtesy Our Lady of Angels Cathedral. 

A monumental coffee-table-crushing monograph of work of Enrique Martínez Celaya, the well-known Cuban-American artist who is based in Los Angeles. His figurative paintings and sculptures have been exhibited in museums around the world.

John Nava. Sacred Material: The Art of the Tapestries of Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels. Ojai-based artist John Nava was commissioned by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to create a series of monumental tapestries for the Cathedral, including more than 100 portraits of Catholic saints.  



Benjamin Gottlieb