Gary Baseman – The Door Is Always Open

The Skirball Center here in LA is currently showing Angeleno artist Gary Baseman’s first major retrospective, and this excellent new catalogue from Skira Rizzoli, under the same title, accompanies that exhibition beautifully. I’ve been a fan of Baseman’s work for ages, and it all came full circle when I was lucky enough to invade his studio with Bobby Hundreds a couple of years back. It was an incredible opportunity to delve into the complicated universe which Baseman’s art explores, and so is this impressive hardcover. The exhibition mimics a tour through the artist’s house, and as such, the book also explores Baseman’s mind, room by room. It includes a look at his relevance, his cultural roots, his best known characters (like Toby, the exceedingly well-traveled Fez-wearing leather plush doll), his many inspirations, his obsession with the feminine, and an astounding range of artwork, from illustration to toy design to performance art, all of which is stunningly cohesive, somehow, and consistently uniquely Baseman-esque.

gary baseman, book, rizzoli, the door is always open, retrospective, catalogue, skirball, typo-graphical

gary baseman, book, rizzoli, the door is always open, retrospective, catalogue, skirball, typo-graphical

gary baseman, book, rizzoli, the door is always open, retrospective, catalogue, skirball, typo-graphical

gary baseman, book, rizzoli, the door is always open, retrospective, catalogue, skirball, typo-graphical

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