On the heels of his massive autobiographical undertaking of a show at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, Gary Baseman came to New York for the launch of his contribution to The Guest, a series of figures created for high-end porcelain house Lladro, designed by artist Jaime Hayon. Following prior contributions to the series by Tim Biskup and Japanese studio Devilrobots, Baseman’s Guest figures arrived fashionably late.
During his Q&A for the launch party at Lladro’s storefront location on Madison Avenue in NYC, Baseman explained the reason for his late addition to the series, which launched in late 2011. Preparation for his show (which Kyle wrote about over on Los Angeles, I’m Yours) and personal issues, including the death of his father (which was dealt with in the body of work included in the show) ended up putting the project on the back burner.
Now with the launch of his Guest figure, Baseman’s signature vision has been wonderfully realized. Considering the figure’s context in someone’s home, he approached the design as analogous to a celebratory bouquet of flowers, with details symbolizing self-acceptance and personal growth, and drawing from personal nostalgic symbols like a reference to a wallpaper pattern in his parents’ hallway when he was growing up. Even the presentation in Lladro’s space was fully considered, with paintings of the two figures hung on walls covered in a pattern referencing that wallpaper motif. The effect is striking, as with all of Baseman’s work, feeling honest, personal, and loaded with symbolism. The detailed, ornamental world he creates in these figures is also perfect for subjective interpretation. Check out more of The Guest collection here.