Posted up a candid interview with Baseman about his show in Israel. I never realized he was Jewish. Interesting body of work this time.
Arrested Motion (AM): Can you tell us a little about this show and the symbolism you are using in this body of work?
Gary Baseman (GB): My exhibition is titled “Sacrificing of the Cake,” but the art is not about cake. Not literally. Not quite. Cake is sweet, but my exhibition is bittersweet, just like life. It’s about slaying the dragons of the past, so one can live a fulfilling life now and in the future. I named the dragon, “Ooga,” which is Hebrew for Cake. My mom tells me when I was in Israel at age 4, I kept saying “ooga, ooga, ooga.” And I have strong memories of these Holocaust Survivors in Israel seeing me as this “golden child” holding me in their arms, and feeding me cake and telling me I am the future, and creating this new world for me.
Growing up in my middle-class life in Hollywood, I was happy to accept the beliefs of my parents who are Eastern European Holocaust survivors. Their beliefs provided me with a good foundation for living. But as an adult, those beliefs transformed into dragons and changed my innocent, safe reality into one crowded with dragons that began to strangle, choke, and suffocate me, keeping me from living a happy self-fulfilling life.
This exhibition is about my slaying of the dragon, which I named “Ooga.” This dragon was the protector of my parents and their generation but the imprisoner of me, who has kept me from my own personal destiny and growth. I acknowledge now that I need to become my own liberator. I need to forge my own path of “good” and fulfillment, even if my “good” is imperfect and bittersweet, mixed with the pure and the impure, right and wrong, vulnerability
The rest of the interview here for those interested.
Last Edit: Jan 4, 2009 16:38:54 GMT -8 by sleepboy
Look at Ninja from Die Antwoord wearing a Baseman suit for the cover of their debut album. The group's video recently was chosen as one of the 25 winners of the youtube exhibition[/b] at the Guggenheim.
And Baseman’s got even bigger plans for 2011. In May there’s a museum show in Israel with a fashion designer who has a line inspired by his art. In June he has an exhibition at MOCA Shanghai, and he’s also in an independent show at the Venice Biennial. In August the Shanghai show travels to Taiwan. And he’s also working on a new series of figures, a secret-keeping society. But before any of that, he’s finishing a solo show opening March 5th at Jonathan Levine in Chelsea