One great benefit of friendships with artists is the occasional original Christmas card that comes your way. The tradition goes back aways, Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner famously made cards for friends like Ray and Charles Eames and you could always rely on Ad Reinhardt and Philip Guston for one at the end of the year.
Even the bright idea of making Christmas cards has art/museum origins with the first one being run up by the first director of the V&A in London. That card was designed by John Horsley (a copy of it was sold in 2001 for $45,500) and ran into trouble for showing a child drinking, a very long way from David Shrigley’s FU Santa card published this year by the Guardian. And only Damien Hirst could elevate the most banal of ‘Peace on earth’ imagery into the rarified air where people pay big bucks for reframed popular imagery.
You can see a range of American artists (including Guston, Pollock and Reinhardt) Christmas cards on the Smithsonian site and a range of British artist cards (including the Shrigley) commissioned by the Guardian here. You can see Hirst's translation here, and a very Happy Christmas and a great New Year to you all from OTN.
Images: Christmas cards from top to bottom, Richard Killeen, blanche readymade of et al. and Shane Cotton