Neiman Marcus unveiled its annual Christmas Book Tuesday October 9, 2012, with a press launch at the Filter Building on White Rock Lake. Attendees were greeted by a smiling Father Christmas and the rather puzzling “Heritage Hen mini farm” Hen House, one of the “Fantasy Gifts” from this year’s book. (View Gallery)
The Filter Building is a pleasing space; its pared back warehouse interior is complemented by rolling lawns and vistas over White Rock Lake. Indoors and outdoors were used to display the frighteningly over the top items available for purchase as part of the Store’s “Fantasy Gifts and Experiences” for 2012. Gratifyingly (especially considering the amounts of money involved) portions of the sale of the Fantasy Gifts will benefit a range of charities.
I confess that my pockets are not quite deep enough to enable me to indulge in any of the Fantasy Gifts on offer, but I am sure there will be other Dallasites who are willing and able.
For a mere $30,000 one can take to the stage in a walk on role in Annie: The Musical; $90,000 will get you a Pinel and Pinel Arcade PS Trunk ( for the gamer with everything) and $100,000 will garner you the aforementioned Versailles inspired Le Petite Trianon Hen House – yes it’s really a house for hens! For a mere $150,000 you can have your very own Bulleit Frontier Whiskey Tailgate Trailer and treat your friends to tailgating heaven.
For those whose tastes run to more decadent items, one can purchase the Jetlev R200, a water propelled Jet pack which will set you back $99,500 – at that price why not get a few – , a private dinner for ten is a snip at $250,000 and the 2012 Neiman Marcus Edition McLaren 12C Spider is only $354,000. If that’s not quite enough to spend, try the His ‘n’ Hers Van Cleef and Arpels watches (with Business class trip to Paris and Geneva) a steal at $1,090,000!
The item of most interest to me, and perhaps also to Dallas Art News readers, is the Limited edition, hand numbered and signed artists’ proof of Robert Wilson’s Snowy Owl.
Wilson is a Waco native and was educated at the University of Texas before moving to New York. His work is wide ranging, and he is perhaps most famous for his operatic and theatrical works including his collaboration with Phillip Glass in Einstein on The Beach (1976). Wilson’s works have been presented to great acclaim around the world, and he continues to direct revivals of his most popular pieces. Wilson’s website provides the following quote from Susan Sontag about Wilson’s body of work: “it has the signature of a major artistic creation. I can’t think of any body of work as large or as influential.”
Despite his omniscience in the world of operatic theatre and performance art, Wilson’s work is founded in fine arts practice. Such venerable institutions as The Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Guggenheims in both Bilbao and New York have shown or hosted retrospectives of his drawings, furniture designs and installations.
Wilson’s Snowy Owl is a quirky piece, the owl perches on a branch against a dotted backdrop – a pop/mod nod to a forest and dappled green light perhaps? The owl appears static, but occasionally moves and blinks, revealing the “canvas” to be a video screen. Part of Wilson’s Video Portraits series, the work juxtaposes modern media and the surprise element of a moving “living” subject against the traditional format of portraiture/tableaux. The observer becomes the observed as the subject appears to be living, breathing and watching us from inside its frame. This disconcerting effect and distortion of reality is, in my opinion, one of the great strengths of video/installation art.
For $70,000 Snowy Owl can be yours, the proceeds of the sale supporting The Watermill Center. Founded by Wilson, The Windmill Center on Long Island is an interdisciplinary laboratory and live –in research facility for performance art, which brings professionals and students together to promote creative collaboration across media, cultural and age/experience divides. So dig deep, your chance to own a piece of work by a world renowned Texas native is just a credit card swipe away!
Neiman Marcus Christmas Book Gallery
Click any of the thumbnail images to see a larger version.