Peek Into Tiffany’s Basquiat-Inspired Advent Calendar

MajorsNov 04, 2021

Peek Into Tiffany’s Basquiat-Inspired Advent Calendar

Plus, a look into the controversy surrounding the use of the artist’s work in the jeweler’s new ad campaign.

Jean-Michel Basquiat’s “Equals Pi*” painting is seen across the front of Tiffany & Co’s 2021 advent calendar.
New York—Brooklyn-born artist Jean-Michel Basquiat was a star of the Neo-Expressionism movement of the 1980s, creating works of art that doubled as commentary on wealth inequality, the experience of being Black in America, and other social issues.
Now, his 1982 painting “Equals Pi*” is the design on the front of a Tiffany & Co. advent calendar.
“Composed of mathematical equations, text, figures, expressive gestures, and symbols, the artwork exemplifies his raw yet methodological approach to his craft,” said Tiffany in a press release about the calendar.
The four-foot, white oak calendar opens, like “a cabinet of curiosities,” and holds 24 Tiffany Blue boxes filled with jewelry and other gifts.
Each box is numbered with custom symbols that reflect Basquiat’s aesthetic. It starts at $150,000.

This Tiffany advent calendar contains 24 surprise gift boxes with tags inspired by Jean-Michel Basquiat's artistic style.
This Tiffany advent calendar contains 24 surprise gift boxes with tags inspired by Jean-Michel Basquiat's artistic style.
Tiffany is leaving what is inside the boxes a surprise.
The 2019 version cost $11,200 and included jewelry, watches, ornaments, and perfume.
The painting that inspired the calendar’s design was part of a private collection since its creation, but made its first public appearance in Tiffany’s new “About Love” campaign, starring Beyoncé and Jay-Z.
The unveiling of the painting via an ad campaign for luxury jewelry didn’t sit right with some, who took to social media to share their thoughts.

Some argued it was unfair for the wealthy to hoard art away from the public eye and that it was in poor taste to use Basquiat’s work in an ad campaign, while others countered it would be impossible to know what the artist, who died at 27, would have wanted.

Basquiat’s estate has collaborated with other brands, including Saint Laurent, Coach, Doc Martens, and phone case company Casetify.
The work of his contemporary, Keith Haring, has received a similar treatment, appearing on shirts, tote bags, and a slew of other items.

Alexis Adler, who lived with Basquiat briefly, told the Daily Beast she was “horrified” when she saw the painting in an ad.
“The commercialization and commodification of Jean and his art at this point — it’s really not what Jean was about,” she said.

 Related stories will be right here … 
Adler said Basquiat, who she described as an anti-capitalist, would have preferred his art to hang in a museum where the public could see it, particularly since Black artists are underrepresented in many Western museums.
Tiffany described the calendar as an homage to the artist’s work and his “use of unconventional mediums,” adding that, in his early career, he painted on everyday objects like windows and doors and used materials like cardboard and plywood. 
The jewelry company also announced a new partnership with Free Arts NYC, a nonprofit that brings art and mentoring programs to underserved communities.
Tiffany will donate $250,000 from advent calendar purchases to the organization, with additional details to follow.
Lenore Fedowis the associate editor, news at National Jeweler, covering the retail beat and the business side of jewelry.

The Latest

CrimeJun 27, 2022
JSA Warns of ‘Pandemic’ of Distraction Thefts Nationwide

It cited two recent cases in California, plus incidents in Florida, Kansas, and Illinois.

IndependentsJun 27, 2022
Lewis Jewelers Set to Open New Ann Arbor Store This Summer

The 10,000-square-foot location allows for expanded collections from design partners while continuing custom design and other services.

CollectionsJun 27, 2022
This Designer Has Found a New Way to Bring Gemstones to Life

Svetlana Lazar’s “Wishing Well” collection utilizes an innovative component to mimic the movement of water beneath them.

Brought to you by
Preparing for Proposal Season with High-Quality, A.I.-Graded Natural Diamonds

Rare & Forever is helping to create an enjoyable diamond buying experience for the millions of newly-engaged couples.

Supplier BulletinJun 24, 2022
AGTA GemFair™ Denver is the Place to Be in September!

Sponsored by AGTA

Weekly QuizJun 23, 2022
This Week’s Quiz
Test your knowledge of the latest jewelry news with this quick test.
Take the Quiz
Recorded WebinarsJun 24, 2022
Vegas Jewelry Recap: The Editors Weigh In

Watch the webinar in which National Jeweler’s editors talk about jewelry market week trends and their predictions for the rest of 2022.

MajorsJun 24, 2022
Banter by Piercing Pagoda Celebrates Pride with ‘SayGay’ Necklace

All proceeds up to $25,000 will benefit the It Gets Better Project, a nonprofit that supports LGBTQ+ youth.

Brought to you by
Discover The Extraordinary Italian Jewelry In Las Vegas!

Experience all the Italian Jewelry market has to offer in Las Vegas.

CollectionsJun 24, 2022
Piece of the Week: Marie Lichtenberg’s Hidden Message Locket

It’s a reminder that life is best lived with discretion.

TechnologyJun 24, 2022
Cloud-Based POS Software Jewel360 Launches for Jewelry Retailers

The end-to-end software allows for real-time control over all sales, inventory, repairs, customer communications, and marketing.

EditorsJun 23, 2022
Antique Show Observations From a First-Time Attendee

Associate Editor Lenore Fedow shares her impressions of the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry & Watch Show and a few of her favorite finds.

GradingJun 23, 2022
AIGS Launches Grading Report for ‘Santa Maria’ Aquamarine

The Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences aims to set a color standard for the trade name.

SourcingJun 23, 2022
Rough Diamond Sales Rise Again for De Beers

Sales were up 36 percent year-over-year in June and are pacing 24 percent ahead of last year at this point.

AuctionsJun 23, 2022
Auction House Freeman’s Appoints First Rep in Florida

Kate Della Monica, a senior specialist in the Jewelry and Watches department, will relocate to the Sunshine State.

Lab-GrownJun 22, 2022
LVMH Luxury Ventures Sinks Money Into Lab-Grown Diamond Start-Up

LVMH’s investment arm has taken a stake in Lusix, a lab-grown diamond company based in Israel.

AuctionsJun 22, 2022
Here’s How Two 100-Plus-Carat Diamonds Did at Auction

Sotheby’s New York put a colorless diamond and a fancy deep orange-brown diamond up for sale last week, with mixed results.

CrimeJun 22, 2022
Leviev Diamonds Launches Bracelet to Help ‘Tinder Swindler’ Victims

Profits will help them recoup financial losses.

MajorsJun 22, 2022
Swarovski Names First Non-Family CEO

Retail veteran Alexis Nasard will step in as CEO on July 4.

SourcingJun 22, 2022
Edward Asscher to Remain WDC President for Another Year

The organization also extended the terms of Vice President Feriel Zerouki and Treasurer Ronnie VanderLinden.

ColumnistsJun 21, 2022
State of the Majors 2022: Reflections on Resilience

After suffering a professional setback, columnist Peter Smith reflects on our ability to bounce back even when the hits keep on coming.

IndependentsJun 21, 2022
Jeweler Tommy Glatz, Known for Being Creative and Kind, Dies at 68

Glatz owned and operated Glatz Jewelers in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania for more than 40 years.

Events & AwardsJun 21, 2022
24 Karat Club of Southern California Will Honor These Industry Leaders

The organization will present three awards at its annual dinner, dance, and gala in October.

MajorsJun 21, 2022
David Yurman Hires Chief of People, Strategy

Former McKinsey partner Emily Yueh marks new president Evan Yurman’s first hire.

TrendsJun 17, 2022
Britney Spears Wore Over $500K of Stephanie Gottlieb Diamonds at Her Wedding

The New York jeweler also made the pop star’s wedding bands.

AuctionsJun 17, 2022
5-Carat Paraiba Tourmaline Ring to Hit the Auction Block

It’s predicted to sell for up to $484,000 during the Bonhams Hong Kong Jewels and Jadeite auction on June 22.

Events & AwardsJun 17, 2022
WJA Foundation to Offer Tech Scholarships for Women of Color

The recipient will receive up to $17,500 toward a tech-focused certification or program of their choice.

CollectionsJun 17, 2022
Piece of the Week: Gemella’s ‘Stella’ Necklace

It’s as versatile as it is glamorous.


This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy