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.