Gary Baseman's work is everywhere, from television and film to stuffed animals and fine art. His latest endeavors include a museum show at MOCA Taipei and a documentary project called "Mythical Creatures" that surrounds his art and the story of his Ukrainian parents who survived the Holocaust. "Mythical Creatures" Poster
A Kickstarter campaign for the film included poster art by Baseman and famed street artist Shepard Fairey as well as an offering of Basemen's famous Toby dolls which have not been on the market for some time. At the Taipei show called "The Door is Always Open" we see the vast array of Baseman's output from costumes and dolls to posters and dioramas. The show is set up as a series of rooms, each based around a theme in Baseman's art. His instantly recognizable style is infused into each and every piece creating an entire universe out of his warped aesthetic. Baseman's world seems to be a mix of eerie old fashioned carnival drawings and nineteen-thirties Halloween decorations all colored like mid-century children's art. There is an uncanny juxtaposition in all of his work between a sickeningly sweet child-like quality and an underlying menace or peril. Its a cuteness that could kill or a sweetness that might silence, one is filled with a feeling of foreboding in all his work but unsure as to why. This look is most often manifested in large-eyed creatures and animals that take the form of everything from wallpaper and chandaliers to pillows and paintings.
Its no wonder that Baseman's work became the basis for a slightly off-color kids show "Teachers Pet" and the game "Cranium" when it is so eye-catching and unusual. His work shows both his love of classic Americana and his Ukrainian jewish roots all melded together through the sieve of his own mind, something that he hopes to delve into further with his upcoming film about his parents and especially his fathers life.