There are many ways to measure success as a designer. Some know they’ve hit it big when they score a major client with deep pockets. Others simply list an impressive number of honors and awards as proof of their prowess. Well-known designer Gary Baseman, however, has a unique new way to catalog his success: The Skirball Cultural Center threw him a house party on April 25th, to celebrate his first major museum survey, “Gary Baseman: The Door Is Always Open.” The public event gave participants an inside look at Baseman’s process as he created a new artwork to the sounds of indie rock band Nightmare and the Cat and a DJ set performed by street artist and designer Shepard Fairey. Party-goers also enjoyed gallery tours and the opportunity to create their own artistic masterpieces.
On view through Aug. 18th, “Gary Baseman: The Door Is Always Open” features more than 300 works (sketchbooks, paintings, videos, etc.), family photos and furnishings from the designer’s childhood home in L.A.’s Fairfax district. “The Door Is Always Open” was inspired by something Baseman’s father used to say, meaning that his son could always come home. Put in another context, the phrase is a nod to the “open door” that exists “between the realms of imagination and creativity and between fine and commercial art.”
The exhibition is divided into nine rooms—studio, living room, dining room, hallway, study, office, den, bedroom and backyard—and each signifies a different life theme such as “play” or “inspiration.” For example, the dining room focuses on celebrations and includes a snapshot of Baseman’s Bar Mitzvah in 1973.
See below for more photos of the event. All photos are courtesy of Timothy Norris. For more information on the book that inspired the exhibition, be sure to pick up Print’s June issue, available on newsstands May 14.