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 (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
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.
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
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 Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Clutter Magazine, Time, Rolling Stone, The 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.
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
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!