Nothing says it's the holidays in New York like the Rockefeller tree, the smell of roasting chestnuts on Broadway, and of course, the big-budget holiday window displays by some of the city's fanciest retailers. This year, we've uncovered five stores who are making their displays a true art form, literally, by handing the reins over to artists—some of whom have definitely taken creative liberties in interpreting the holiday spirit.
DAN FLAVIN x Calvin Klein
654 Madison Avenue
Paying tribute to the late conceptual artist Dan Flavin and his glowing neon “situations,” Calvin Klein’s chief creative officer Raf Simons brought back a work that Klein commissioned in 1996 for the brand’s Madison Avenue flagship store, which opened just one month after Flavin’s death. Now, twenty years later, the same untitled work is on view in conjunction with the release of the book Dan Flavin: Corners, Barriers and Corridors, published by David Zwirner Books.
ROB PRUITT x Barneys
660 Madison Avenue
An artist well-known for his bright gradient paintings, Lisa Frank-like color schemes, and most of all, a recurring panda bear motif, Rob Pruitt has created a glitter-filled installation inspired by "love" from Barneys' Love Peace Joy campaign. Two cartoonish figures watch t.v. in bed with an impending glittery pink tidal wave looming above. “But the message of the window is that their love of one another will keep them safe,” says Pruitt in a press release about the cardboard-constucted, googly-eyed figures.
NICK CAVE x Barneys
660 Madison Avenue
Also at Barneys is an installation by another color-obsessed artist, Nick Cave. Known for his Soundsuits (sculptures and costumes that “conceal identifying characteristics, forcing you to look at it without judgment”), the artist interpreted “peace” as “pieces of things... thinking about this separateness that is able to come together and make a whole.” Though the visual and performance artist seemed to have taken some artistic liberties in interpreting the project ("peace" and "piece" are obviously two completely different words), it sure is looking peacefully Zen in there.
JAMES GOLDCROWN x Henri Bendel
712 5th Avenue
The best thing about the James Goldcrown's "love wall" may be the fact that it's displayed on the four-story glass facade of Henri Bendel—which faces Trump Tower. “With everything difficult going on in the world right now, including the election, we thought that was something everyone could use a bit more of now more than ever," Henri Bendel told Teen Vogue.
VARIOUS ARTISTS x Bloomingdale’s
1000 Third Avenue
Now here’s a bright idea: auction off artist-designed window displays for charity. That’s exactly what Bloomindale’s Lights Up a Child’s Mind campaign is doing by commissioning artists to create installations inspired by the word “light,” auctioning off the light-works after the holidays, and donating one hundred percent of the proceeds to The Child Mind Institute. Each of the eight windows has a different artist’s installation, featuring artists like Inma Berrero, Sean Augustine March, Esmeralda Kosmatopoulos, and Susanne Bartsch.