Peter Norton's Stocking Stuffers: See Fine-Art Christmas Toys by Christian Marclay, Kara Walker, and Others

 Christian Marclay's "Untitled (Music Box)," 2005
(© Christian Marclay)

Socialite dilemma: abandon yourself to the frantic partygoing of Art Basel Miami Beach, or stay home and get your Christmas shopping done? Luckily, Christie's is there to provide inspiration to those who choose the former when they finally get around to the latter. For the week of art fairs, the auction house is presenting “The Norton Christmas Project: A Retrospective” during Art Basel Miami Beach, a playful display of holiday gifts for the well-endowed.

If there's one person who knows the whole Christmas gift/fine art scene, its Peter Norton. Each year, the California tech entrepreneur, art collector, and occasional Santa Claus commissions an artist to craft an edition to send to his friends as gifts. Since its founding in 1988, the 23-year-old tradition has resulted in a wide range of inherently blue-chip objects, from a compact wooden music box by Christian Marclay in 2005, to “Oval,” Takashi Murakami’s 2000 floral, cartoonish figurine of a girl (not to be confused with that other "Oval," his "Oval Buddha"), and Kara Walker's 2009 "Freedom, A Fable: A Curious Interpretation of the Wit of a Negress in Troubled Times," a deceptively whimsical-looking pop-up book of racially charged silhouette images. Over the years, Norton has also tapped Vik MunizDo Ho Suh, and a collaborative effort between Brian Eno and Pae White to serve as workshop elves. 

To see objects from “The Norton Christmas Project: A Retrospective," click on the slide show. The show runs through December 3 at JW Marriott Marquis Miami.