Baseman-designed Mezuzah – Available again on 4/18/24 

Gary Baseman has made a new batch of mezuzahs, based on one from his childhood home, celebrating the 11th anniversary of The Door is Always Open at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles (April 25–August 18, 2013). The original run of this limited edition mezuzah sold out a decade ago.

Featuring his character Veritas, the Magi of Truth, the mezuzah is placed on the doorpost of a home for protection (mezuzah refers to a piece of parchment inscribed with Hebrew verses from the Torah). 

Fabricated in pewter by PIP Studios in Los Angeles, measuring 5 x 1 inches, the Baseman-designed mezuzah is available at the webstore starting April 18, 2024.


Opening night of The Door is Always Open, April 25, 2013.

The Door is Always Open shared over three decades of Baseman’s art from illustration, fashion, animation, performance, toy design and fine art – showcasing hundreds of original artwork, toys, costumes, and family artifacts, including furniture from Baseman’s childhood home.

A literal home built in a large gallery space (plus a studio in another smaller gallery), visitors entered through a front yard and in through a door that led them through Baseman’s creative output over the years. A look into his mind and influences from his upbringing in the Fairfax district to Warner Brothers to Disney, Baseman invited everyone to think of how their everyday lives could inspire them to live life fully, with creativity and curiosity.

The title “The Door is Always Open” comes from Baseman’s father, Ben, who told his son when he moved away to New York City in the mid-1980s to become an illustrator, “Gary, the door is always open.”  Ben Baseman and his wife Naomi were known for welcoming everyone into their home, including their many Holocaust survivor friends who were displaced from their original homelands in Eastern Europe. Gary would return to his native Los Angeles to pursue animation after a 10-year stint away.


Veritas is the Magi of Truth, one of the Seven Sacred Magi that are part of Toby’s Secret Society. The other magis include Fatum, Libido, Purr (Compassion, aka Blackie the Cat), Libertas, Fides, and Amor. KidRobot produced Toby’s Secret Society as designer toys in 2011. 

For Baseman’s 2013 retrospective, Veritas and other Baseman characters came to life during the opening reception “Gary Baseman’s House Party”, which featured art-making, games, and entertainment by the indie rock band Nightmare and the Cat (with Gary playing brushes) and a DJ set by Shepard Fairey. 

Shepard Fairey and Gary Baseman in Study. Veritas appears in two paintings on right.
Baseman plays brushes with the band.

An event in July 2013 titled “Secrets and Truth” encouraged everyone to find their “true selves” and celebrate the “beauty of the bittersweetness of life” – longstanding themes in Baseman’s work. One special installation featured Veritas who encouraged attendees to share a secret, while hiding behind a Toby mask. The main feature of the night was a site-specific dance choreographed by Sarah Elgart with Veritas, the Goddess of Dreams, the Princess of Secrets, other magi spirits, and Toby (attendees who wore his mask).

“Secrets and Truth” choreographed by Sarah Elgart.
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