Time and Circles

Earlier this week, we invited you to explore the world of spiked gifts but today we're leveling things out and sharing a collection of annular objects from topographic time pieces to telephone wire baskets. These infinite perimeters offer an endless aesthetic allure that will certainly appeal to those in your inner circle of gift giving.

We want to begin with wall clocks. When we think of timepieces, we think of Cuban-born American artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres. At the end of the 20th century, shortly after his partner, Ross Laycock, received the life-shattering diagnosis of AIDS—a disease that would ultimately claim both of their lives—Gonzalez-Torres conceived one of his most famous works, "Untitled (Perfect Lovers)". The piece is incredibly simple in its design: two identical clocks are set to the same time and are hung beside one another, their edges just touching. As time elapses, batteries fade, mechanisms wind down, and the clocks fall out of sync or stop entirely. Gonzalez-Torres specifies that when the clocks no longer run in harmony, they are to be reset, "thereby resuming perfect synchrony" (MoMA), but it's the brief moments of asynchrony that hold a powerful reminder of absence and loss.

This work uses everyday objects to track and measure the inevitable flow of time... In 1991, Gonzalez-Torres reflected, “Time is something that scares me. . . or used to. This piece I made with the two clocks was the scariest thing I have ever done. I wanted to face it. I wanted those two clocks right in front of me, ticking.” MoMA

You may be thinking, "this hardly seems festive!", and we can understand why you feel that way. Grief and absence aren't emotions we seek out during the holidays and a clock, serving as a continuous reminder of the ceaseless passing of time, feels like something to be avoided rather than gifted. But, as the saying "absence makes the heart grow fonder" insinuates, we come to appreciate, cherish, and value our loved ones all the more when we are reminded of what life may be like without them. As Feliz Gonzalez-Torres wrote to Laycock,

"Don’t be afraid of the clocks, they are our time, the time has been so generous to us. We imprinted time with the sweet taste of victory. We conquered fate by meeting at a certain TIME in a certain space. We are a product of the time, therefore we give back credit where it is due: time. We are synchronized, now forever.

I love you."- Felix Gonzalez-Torres

It is this unconditional and unwavering love in the face of hardship, this impassioned conquering of the limits of time, this treasured spotlight on the defining memories we've sculpted together that we want to gift to our loved ones this holiday. A reminder of our unending, unrelenting, and defiant love for them. We can't imaging a more meaningful gift! So here are just a few clocks to inspire your holiday shopping.


The bark clock from Asymmetree Design is a uniquely symbolic temporal sculpture. Irregular languid wood shapes, each "precisely cut and engraved"(x), are stacked atop one another and engraved with trailing, shallow streams to create a tiered topographic face onto which the modern clock hands are affixed at the summit. The concentric bands and shadows cast from the seven steps and carved outlines recall the internal chronological map drawn by the growth rings of trees. The clock continuously spirals as time elapses, against a backdrop that resembles a map of history. This clock is a magnificent wall piece and a beautiful depiction of time.


While the bark cloc