Gallery: Nightmare & the Cat (and friends) at ‘Gary Baseman’s House Party’ at the Skirball Center



Whimsy begat more whimsy on Thursday night at the Skirball Cultural Center. The occasion was “Gary Baseman’s House Party” – the gala opening of the fiftysomething artist’s exhibition “Gary Baseman: The Door Is Always Open” – and it had all the trappings of a house party, maybe the kind your parents might kabosh.

Local rockers Nightmare & the Cat capped the evening with an hour-long set of music they’ve been working on for their Capitol Records debut (including a guest turn on one song by Carina Round), while Baseman live-painted onstage. But before the big crowd made its way to the courtyard for music and cocktails, there was the exhibition itself, laid out like a house, with seven rooms plus a hallway of Baseman’s playful and often subversive pop art. Attendees danced with Toby and some of the Baseman’s other well-known costumed characters, played ring-toss, contributed their own artwork to a mural and made masks. Sound like child’s play? A lot of it was, and one thing for sure: We didn’t dress weirdly enough.