Tuesday, July 16, 2013

"The Door is Always Open"

The Living Room at "The Door is Always Open"

Today, Larry and I visited the Skirball Cultural Center to see the Gary Baseman exhibit, "The Door is Always Open."  It was FANTASTIC!  Larry has done some photographic work for Gary and we've met him several times.  Gary grew up near where we live in the Fairfax district in Los Angeles.  He's a local.  His parents were Holocaust survivors from Poland.  You can read more about the exhibit here.  The name of the show is a phrase that Baseman's father often said, "The Door is Always Open" to our friends and family.  Baseman recreated a semblance of his childhood home on North Curson Avenue by using much of his parents' furniture, photos and tchotkes.  Guests are invited to sit on the velveteen sofa and chat while looking through a few of Baseman's art books placed on his parents' coffee table. 

The dining room is set for a family Passover Seder with his mother's china and serving pieces.  Sprinkled throughout the house are Baseman's characters personified in couch pillows, wallpaper, seat covers, artwork, light fixtures and more.  I felt very at home in this setting.  

One of the rooms exhibits much of Gary's editorial work for magazines and advertisements.  One room is dedicated to his Emmy winning TV show, "Teacher's Pet."  You can sit on the couch and watch episodes of the cartoon on his folks' TV set.  Brilliant!

The hallway in Gary's childhood home was filled with family photos.  This hallway is filled with photos of Toby and his many adventures around the world.

We stopped for lunch half-way through the exhibit.  The restaurant at The Skirball is lovely.  I had a veggie fritata and Larry had the lox, onions and eggs.  Lunch was delightful and gave us refreshed energy to see the remainder of the exhibit. 

Lunch at Zeidler's Cafe
Gary's Fantasy Backyard
Baseman's interpretation of the hipsters at El Coyote Restaurant in the Fairfax District

The show is on view through August 18th.  Go! You will not be disappointed!

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