Working in everything from fine paper to blocks of sandstone (and tattoos), Stanislava Pinchuk – also known as Miso – uses map coordinates and other topographical data to create beautiful, politically charged artwork. She also compiles the international Christmas lists of dreams.
‘What I’m getting my best friend’
Plan A: I have to confess, I don’t celebrate Christmas, but it’s nice to somehow be pulled into its orbit every year.
I will usually make some crêpes for friends and my boyfriend in the morning, and make a plan for the beach or park if the weather is good. My only tradition is in the evening – when my best friend and I go to a daggy ’80s corporate-deluxxxe hotel lobby, drink G&Ts and play chess. We actually keep an eye out year-round for potential candidate lobbies, too – and swap notes until we decide the final location in December. We’re really into it.
So for my best friend, a second-hand chess set, like this one. I really like the old Soviet ones, which seem to have become hot currency lately.
Plan B: A signed Daido Moriyama photo book (Tokyo cool).
Plan D: A No. 6 Opinel knife – (cheap, and essential 10 times a day).
‘What’s on the list for my boyfriend’
Plan A: Not long after I first met my now-boyfriend in a bar, he texted me to say ‘Merry Christmas’, which, between two people who culturally don’t celebrate Christmas, I took as a concrete sign that he liked me and wanted an excuse to text. ( I can now confirm that this was completely correct. )
During the pandemic lockdown, he committed himself to learning how to cook well – and ambitiously, went straight to the most difficult French cooking.
Now that I’ve lost the two kilos I gained eating it all and not leaving our apartment, I will be getting him Julia Child’s classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking to regain the momentum. A gift for perhaps selfish reasons, but gratin just doesn’t make itself, you know.
Plan B: A MacGuffin Magazine subscription (so, smart and bonkers).
Plan C: Peter Shire mug (everyday joy).
Plan D: Initialled Universe Buly comb (uber chic).
‘Presents for a new arrival’
Plan A: One of my nearest and dearest girlfriends is expecting her first child to be born this Christmas Day. A few years ago,
I gave my friend a drawing on her wedding day, so it’ll be nice to give one to her daughter now, too. In a perfect world, kids should grow up with strange, wonderful images on their walls that make them curious, and change in their understanding as they get older. I really like giving artworks to my friends’ kids when they’re born, so from the start, they can always feel like art is something they can be part of.
Plan B: Antique Ukrainian rushnyk (a tradition upon birth, embroidered for protection).
Plan C: Henry Wilson Oil Burner (for calm in the house).
Plan D: Keith Haring Pull Toy (start them young, pt. 2).
‘What I’d love for myself’
For the Christmas downtime, I’ll be buying myself a kilogram of clay.
My last works were made from a half-tonne of marble, which was a lifelong dream. But it’s also a medium that is quite unforgiving, where mistakes are very hard to erase!
So now, I just need a little time to experiment, mould, think with my hands, mash things up and start again. Clay is so forgiving and playful to ‘failure’, and I need that at the moment! If you have someone in your life who is a perfectionist, or hard on themselves, buy them clay. It’s cheap, cheerful and gives back in abundance.
Plan B: Comme des Garçons zip wallet (I just lost my wallet, so self-explanatory).
Plan C: Woven rice-straw egg holder (third-generation weaving mastery).
Plan D: Martino Gamper Circus Stool (recyclable & twofold useful).
(and Plan E: Schiaparelli Gaze Earrings – a girl can dream.)