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Monday, April 29, 2013

Gary Baseman: The Door Is Always Open Opening Party

Gary Baseman's House Party was a triumphiant opening for the Skirball's newest exhibit

Gary Baseman: The Door Is Always Open
Now until August 16

The night was filled with wonder off the 405 with Shepard Fairey talking about not needing to dye his hair just yet as he was passed by the shows artist Gary Baseman on way to put in the Mezuzah to complete his house inside the Skirball. Yes, Gary built his childhood home within the Skirball or a hodgepodge of his work with his memories of growing up in Fairfax. This nice Jewish boy's exhibition, "The Door Is Always Open" is really the words of his family life and his father hospitality to guests. Now Gary's hospitality and life. A life where friends and new friends are welcomed in.

Last Thursday's night opening house party blew away most other are show openings. Just being greeted by Gary's creation and his girls set off the night. Attendees could enjoy making masks for themselves in an arts and crafts room, Gary enjoys the artistry and mystery behind them. You could make art on a wall with painted figures Gary created, stamping out your own colors. You could listen to DJ Shepard Fairey sing aloud to Queen's works. The night got more exuberant the more Gary changed clothes and he eventually was on stage along the band  Nightmare and the Cat. On stage and before his fans he jammed along painting a picture live in conjunction with the music. Shortly after a special Gary made Pinata was massacred and special made Mezuzah was placed on his home within the museum.

 Before making your way to Gary's house many of the guests would play a slightly altered ring toss and bucket toss game in attempts to win prizes. Guests would have to land rings on Gary's devil horned figured to win a prize. They could also attempt getting a prize if they could land balls in disparaging buckets with negative words on them like, "Failure".

These games did not prepare you for the house that Gary built. A house built out of his career, Jewish family life, travels and dreams. Every piece of the house was filled with his art and even for a museum exhibition it was impressive beyond the norm. Fantastic wallpapers, Emmy's on the mantle and a backyard of pinatas are only a small part of what made the house a magnificent exhibit. Each corner you might want to double check our you might miss something. You might miss a family photo, a cartoonish ludicrous drawing or some other bit of Gary's inspiration. It still felt like a home, a home one might want to aspire to have filled with as many memories as Gary has. When Gary was being congratulated by the high-ups of the Skirball they reminded Gary that his memories are what matter most and that his parents would have been so proud of him. I believe they would have been proud too, but with a Jewish Mom she would have complained about him not being married.

Here's photos of the exhibit, but it's something to really walk through and enjoy in person, maybe play a game of Cranium a game that Gary worked on.