Day 300- Gary Baseman- Bittersweetness of Life

It’s Day 300!  I cannot believe this is my 300th painting.  I originally wanted to do Da Vinci today, but I ran out of time so I am pushing it back to another day.  I did have a blast painting today’s painting and he’s one of my faves.  Join me in honoring Gary Baseman today!

Gary Baseman

Gary Baseman

Gary Baseman-Open Wounds

Gary Baseman-Open Wounds

Gary Baseman (born September 27, 1960) is a contemporary artist who works in illustration, fine art, toy design, and animation. He is the creator of the ABC/Disney cartoon series, Teacher’s Pet, and the artistic designer of Cranium, a popular board game. Baseman’s aesthetic combines pop art images, pre- and post-war vintage motifs, cross-cultural mythology and literary and psychological archetypes.

Baseman’s art is frequently associated with the lowbrow pop movement, also known as pop

"For the Love of Toby"- Gary Baseman

“For the Love of Toby”- Gary Baseman

surrealism.

Baseman was born and raised in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles. He is the fourth child of Holocaust survivors from Ukraine. Baseman’s mother worked at the famous Canter’s Deli and his father was an electrician.  Baseman cites Warner Bros. cartoons, MAD Magazine, and Disneyland as early sources of inspiration. In junior high school, Baseman met Barry Smolin, who is now a radio host and musician, and Seth Kurland, a writer and TV producer. They remain close friends.

Baseman studied communications at UCLA. He graduated magna cum laude as a member of the Phi Beta Kappa society.

A Moment Ago Everything Was Beautiful Paintings- Gary Baseman

A Moment Ago Everything Was Beautiful Paintings- Gary Baseman

Baseman cites Yoshitomo Nara, Takashi Murakami, and the illustrator William Joyce as contemporaries.

Baseman coined the term ‘pervasive art’ as an alternative to the lowbrow art label. He has stated that his goal is to “blur the lines between fine art and commercial art.”  According to Baseman, pervasive art can take any medium, and need not be “limited to one world, whether [that] is the gallery world, editorial world, or art toy world.”

Baseman exemplifies pervasive art in that he works commercially and also remains an independent artist.  He creates products that are sold to a mass market, and also shows in museums and galleries, selling original artworks to collectors. Baseman employs traditional art practices such as painting, printmaking, sculpture, drawing, and collage.

From 1986 to 1996, Baseman worked as an illustrator in New York City. He earned several awards from American Illustration, Art

GARY BASEMAN “THE EXPLOSION OF DREAM REALITY”

GARY BASEMAN “THE EXPLOSION OF DREAM REALITY”

Directors Club, and Communication Arts. Baseman refers to his illustration work, and to his general process, as message-making.

Baseman’s drawings have been published in The New YorkerThe Atlantic MonthlyClutter MagazineTimeRolling StoneThe New York Times, and The Los Angeles Times. He has had major independent and corporate clients such as AT&T Corporation, Gatorade, Nike, Inc., and Mercedes-Benz. Baseman illustrated the best-selling board game Cranium. After ten years in New York, Baseman returned to Los Angeles to explore opportunities in art and entertainment.

Gary Baseman

Gary Baseman

In 1999, Baseman exhibited “Dumb Luck and Other Paintings About Lack of Control” at the Mendenhall Gallery in Los Angeles. The exhibition established Baseman’s transition from illustration to fine art, during a time when many of his artist-friends, like Mark Ryden, the Clayton Brothers, and Eric White made similar moves. Since then, Baseman has shown in close to twenty independent exhibitions, notably, “Happy Idiot and Other Paintings About Vulnerability” at the Earl McGrath Gallery in New York City; “For the Love of Toby” at Billy Shire Fine Arts in Los Angeles; “I Melt in Your Presence” at the Modernism Gallery in San Francisco; and “Hide and Seek in the Forest of ChouChou,” also at Billy Shire.

Baseman has exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the US and in Brazil, Germany, Israel, Italy, Russia, Spain, and Taiwan. Baseman’s work is featured in the permanent collections of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. and the Museum of Modern Art in Rome.

n 2009, Baseman added performance art to his oeuvre with “La Noche de la Fusión,” a mythical holiday festival. Over two thousand

The Contemplation of the Uga- Gary Baseman

The Contemplation of the Uga- Gary Baseman

attendees celebrated a melding of cultural practices and ideas. Along with games, live music, and dancers, the event featured live models in costume playing Baseman’s female characters Skeleton Girl, Hickey Bat Girl, Bubble Girl, and Butterfly Girl. Displayed at the exhibition was the Enlightened Chou, a new character inspired by Baseman’s international travels.

In June 2010, Baseman presented “Giggle and Pop!” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Live action costumed ChouChous played in the La Brea Tar Pits along with models dressed as Baseman’s Wild Girls, who were renamed “Tar Pit Girls” for the occasion. The characters performed a dance choreographed by Sarah Elgart, and the audience joined in with singer-songwriter Carina Round, who performed a song she composed for the event.

Partial biography is from wikipedia.

I hope you enjoy my piece for today!  I really enjoyed creating it.  He’s such a fun artist.  I love staring at his art and I wish I had more time to work on it.  I didn’t start painting until late this afternoon.  I will see you tomorrow on Day 301!

Best,

Linda

Let Me Show You My Dreams- Tribute to Gary Baseman Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Let Me Show You My Dreams- Tribute to Gary Baseman
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View Let Me Show You My Dreams- Tribute to Gary Baseman Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Side-View
Let Me Show You My Dreams- Tribute to Gary Baseman
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Let Me Show You My Dreams- Tribute to Gary Baseman Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Let Me Show You My Dreams- Tribute to Gary Baseman
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Let Me Show You My Dreams- Tribute to Gary Baseman Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Let Me Show You My Dreams- Tribute to Gary Baseman
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Let Me Show You My Dreams- Tribute to Gary Baseman Linda Cleary 2014 Acrylic on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Let Me Show You My Dreams- Tribute to Gary Baseman
Linda Cleary 2014
Acrylic on Canvas

Day 265- Gary John- Always a Street Artist

It’s Day 265…only 100 left to go!  Wow…Join me in honoring Gary John today.  I found this artist and fell in love with his story and artwork!  I hope you will too.  Below is an article about him from the Santa Monica Mirror that I liked .

From Santa Monica Mirror- Artist Gary John (center) has gone from living on the streets of Venice to becoming an emerging artist in the past eight months thanks to gallery owners Bruce (left) and Scot Lurie.

From Santa Monica Mirror- Artist Gary John (center) has gone from living on the streets of Venice to becoming an emerging artist in the past eight months thanks to gallery owners Bruce (left) and Scot Lurie.

Four Chairs- Gary John

Four Chairs- Gary John

Painting A New Life After Living On The Streets

POSTED NOV. 28, 2013, 8:59 AM JYNARRA BRINSON / MIRROR CONTRIBUTOR

Eight months ago, homeless street artist Gary John was up to his usual one day – painting for

Big Boy Act- Gary John

Big Boy Act- Gary John

nearly 10 hours non-stop on the Venice boardwalk – when something told him to put his brush down, pack his things, and check out Culver City’s art gallery loop.

“I never stop painting,” John says. “I don’t break my routine and more than that, I hem and haw for everything.”

But on that day, John listened to what he describes as nothing more than “divine intervention.”

During this journey to Culver City, he walked into the Bruce Lurie Gallery near the corner of La Cienega and Washington boulevards.

Gary John

Gary John

Perhaps it was the dried-up paint on John that tipped gallery owner Bruce Lurie off, or maybe the same “something” that spoke to John hours earlier, whatever it was compelled Lurie to address him, knowingly, when he said, “Hi artist.”

The salutation did not strike John as particularly significant. He walked about the gallery before heading toward the exit when he heard a voice behind him.

“What kind of art do you do?” John recalls being asked.

He told Lurie about his art – his abstract pop culture images on cardboard, newspaper,

Gary John

Gary John

canvas, and just about any low-cost material he could get his hands on.

For years John met several people, celebrities included, who filled his ears and heart with colorful hopes. They promised to help him find representation and to get his work on t-shirts, skateboards, and other commercial exposure – which never happened.

Hoax Man- Gary John

Hoax Man- Gary John

When Lurie expressed curiosity and asked him to bring his work in, John assumed the usual would transpire: He’d bring his things in, lay them out, be told his work wasn’t actually what they were looking for and sent on his way, with good wishes, of course.

However, this time was different. The decision was unanimous. All three Lurie brothers – Bruce, Evan, and Scot, all gallery owners themselves, happened to be in town that day – decided John was precisely who they were looking for.

“They said come back tomorrow and we’ll do some paperwork,” John says. “I think he took

Modern Art- Gary John

Modern Art- Gary John

everything I had. It was like a dream. They were telling me my stuff is fantastic, we’re going to promote you, not only that, represent you and take you all over the country and it was too much.”

Overwhelmed nearly to hysteria, John asked them to stop talking, said it was too much for one day and left. He walked halfway down the block, found a front porch and sat. He recalls bawling like a baby but more like someone whose wildest dreams had just come true.

Gary John

Gary John

Nearly a decade ago, John visited Los Angeles to seek a brighter backdrop than the grey and rain from his native Seattle. At the insistence of his friend Dan Corley, he said he visited LA for what he intended to be a two-week trial.

“I owe everything to Dan Corley,” John says. “He encouraged me when I wanted to give up. If it weren’t for him I would not be where I am today. No one could ask for a better friend.”

When he arrived, he says, he knew LA would be his new home. The sole earnings from his art sales on the boardwalk sustained him to a minor degree. John struggled with homelessness, finding himself in and out of motels and living on the streets of Venice.

“I was able to pull myself in and out,” John says. “After 10 years of gutting it out on

Queen in a Balloon- Gary John

Queen in a Balloon- Gary John

Venice Beach, I had all but given up. Things really improved when Bruce took me on.”

Today, John lives in an apartment in Culver City.

His art is reminiscent of Haring and Basquiat, and it’s with comparable abandon that vivid hues take shape (or not) on his canvas.

John says he’ll never forget the first time he saw his paintings on the wall.

“It was beautiful,” he says from under a dark green baseball cap and sunglasses, his hands tucked deep into his pockets. “Here were my paintings on this beautiful wall and Bruce came up to me and said, you’re where you belong – he said that to me.”

John himself won’t be at Art Basel Miami Beach 2013 next month, but his art will. The highly selective annual international show attracted 50,000 international visitors last year. Artists, collectors, gallerists, curators, art enthusiasts, and the like descend on Miami Beach for four days to celebrate work from masters of Modern and contemporary art as well as pieces by emerging stars.

Paris Shoe- Gary John

Paris Shoe- Gary John

Art Basel is not John’s first show appearance, but it is the most high profile. His acceptance to the show is something not many established artists can’t boast. Past show appearances include the Affordable Art Fair in New York, Houston Art Fair, as well as shows in the Hamptons and Palm Springs.

Bruce Lurie says he always sells out John’s artwork each show.

“His art is something that reminds us of the purity of our childhood,” Lurie says. “The iconic images, drawn spontaneously yet perfectly have a deeper psychological meaning, and connect today with yesteryears. You might initially think the images are innocent, but they can be provocative and erotic – the fine art collector is attracted to those.”

In the past few weeks John’s work appeared in an auction hosted by The Skirball Museum; Children’s Hospital Los Angeles recently purchased a few of his works; and a curator from the Gothenburg Museum of Art in Sweden expressed interest in showing his work.

John wants his story to serve as encouragement for artists who remain steadfast as well as for those who struggle with persevering through the odds.

“If you hang in there long enough, you keep pushing, your dreams can come true. I never believed it because I went through so many hardships,” John says.

Even though his art is receiving attention he never thought possible, John still paints and sells 8×10 inch pieces along the Venice boardwalk.

“People say you have success now, why are you still on Venice beach,” John says. “I always tell them – because I was a street artist, I am a street artist and I’ll always be a street artist.”

Visit Gary John’s website at streetartgaryjohn.com. Alternatively, you can find him in person most days along the Venice boardwalk across from Figtree’s Café.

Above is article from the Santa Monica Mirror website.

Isn’t his story lovely?  I love it.  I really enjoyed painting this piece today and I hope you like it!  Only a hundred paintings to go for this project!  I can’t believe it.  Well, I’ll see you tomorrow on Day 266.

Best,
Linda

Love is Love- Tribute to Gary John Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed-Media on Canvas

Love is Love- Tribute to Gary John
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed-Media on Canvas

Side-View Love is Love- Tribute to Gary John Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed-Media on Canvas

Side-View
Love is Love- Tribute to Gary John
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed-Media on Canvas

Close-Up 1 Love is Love- Tribute to Gary John Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed-Media on Canvas

Close-Up 1
Love is Love- Tribute to Gary John
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed-Media on Canvas

Close-Up 2 Love is Love- Tribute to Gary John Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed-Media on Canvas

Close-Up 2
Love is Love- Tribute to Gary John
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed-Media on Canvas

Close-Up 3 Love is Love- Tribute to Gary John Linda Cleary 2014 Mixed-Media on Canvas

Close-Up 3
Love is Love- Tribute to Gary John
Linda Cleary 2014
Mixed-Media on Canvas