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The Art Of Presents

Posted by on August 18, 2011


When travelling nowadays it is so difficult to find the perfect gift or souvenir, unfortunately the colonisation of big brands make nothing very unique or special anymore.  People are no longer real artisans or thinking outside the box.  I see this from my dad’s quality of work as a one man’s jewellery custom made operation, to the quality in well known brand jewellers that you are paying more just for the name, like Tiffany’s, Shimansky, Cartier, commercial trash.  I was dismayed on another example when I bought a renowned french foie gras for a present, and when I got to N.Y. the same can at a specialist shop for slightly less, also take perfume as yet another example.  Or can you believe, when on a recent shoot in Tanzania, the tanzanite stones were more expensive than in South Africa.

It is a pleasure to stumble along some really rare find or unique things.  Apart from some good quality labels or ‘every now and then pieces’ that come up (I end up buying two or three of each in case things get discontinued the next season) nothing blows me away anymore, very seldom.  And when there is creativity to that level, that little shop or boutique will soon be whipped up to become commercialised merchandise to turn to the next best thing or brand, understandably, but sadly so, this globalisation of ours.

Gone are the days in the beginning of my travels when we could go to Europe and bring that special French bottle of wine back home or take to my cousins and family a giant size poster of a giraffe or elefant or take to the states an ostrich egg from Africa that was probably never seen before, or a good collectors cape wine.   Now everything is attainable everywhere, and tourist destinations are filled with orders made in china of things typical of their country, they don’t even have the imagination of ordering a variation for the shop next door.

Another tough one is, what do you give a man who has everything?  One has to be very creative.  I have exhausted my brilliant ideas, but it gets very hard indeed.  I guess the best gift u can give anyone in a friendship is loyalty and communication.

As my birthday (and xmas) approaches each year I am always asked what would I want…
Let me think… Starting at the top… To the more realistic choices at the bottom..  Anything from a jet to a chocolate box since I don’t like flowers, unless they come potted and I don’t have to watch them die.

I was also once asked by an ex if I would prefer a huge, so many carats, diamond pendant or a small painting or print by my fave artist, in this case it would have been a Rembrandt.  I asked him how well did he know me???? He said to my reply that I was very unlike any other girl he knew, to which I stated that was why he was with me.
A friend once told me, and he was really good at presents, that when giving something one should always give a thing a person needs, that just helps out with their lives a little better, and something that they don’t need, such as a luxury they wouldn’t necessarily buy themselves.  Such as a candle, a day at the spa, a fancy body cream, perfume, plants, jewellery…  etc… Those are always welcome and not likely to be passed on.

Here’s my wish list:

-A private jet

-A yacht

-A  sports convertible car

-SUV perhaps Something I can fit my babies (by babies I mean rather large oiled canvasses) maybe a truck wud b better in that case ;-)

-A tennis bracelet

-4 jars of oscietre caviar (that I can indulge in for a week with a tea spoon) and share one with my dad.

-A small painting or any original works by Lucian Freud/ Jackson pollock/ Anish Kapoor/ kentridge/ G Catlin/ Britto/ O. Fonseca/ Tracy Emin / Banksy

-Studio time for recording a hit single (I’ll need a year)

-Maybe the singing lessons for a year to go with it.

-A publicist.

-Private tango lessons.

-Or a series of endermology to maintain the figure and keep the cellulite away.

-Or like the caviar,  some of the best gifts is a gift one can share, and if I can bring joy into someone else’s life, specially those close to me and family, then that makes me super happy too, from anything like art, a forest in Israel or my back yard to a fondue set, or such as the gift of travel or a holiday with my parents like the year we went to Denmark for a traditional white Xmas.  Or when my ex fiancé wanted the in laws to meet so he flew them to LA.   Or when my sister bought a ticket and came to surprise me in Venice for my bday.  Or when I took my mom to Croatia, that was like giving myself a gift too.  As my friend Tana always says: “Sharing is caring”.

-A small surprise party

-A nice dinner at my favourite restaurant.

-Bicycle (ha ha)


-A few trees perhaps

-Box of chocolates

And of course I was only kidding about the jet and yacht.. I’d much rather charter one… just kidding (we all know there are only two days we are happy to have gotten the boat; the day we bought it and the day we sold it)