Best Art Opening Ever

It’s hard to believe that Gary Baseman’s La Noche de la Fusión happened 15 years ago today (May 2, 2009). I remember the long line outside the gallery in Culver City, the programs in the shape of one of Gary’s new characters, the Enlightened Chou; the games, the music, the live characters, the performance, the live music. 

I remember the festive spirit, and the words on the wall that told me to celebrate the “bittersweetness of life.”

Gary wanted the 2000 attendees to loosen up and have fun with art on this mythical holiday. He wanted “societal walls to come down so everyone could discover their true selves through dance and play.” 

I got his message: Life is precious. Art isn’t, or shouldn’t always be perceived as so. It can be magical, though, Gary preaches. It was sweet to see Gary there with his family, like his father in a wheelchair smiling at his son. Everyone seemed to know Gary. 

What was happening in the country when La Noche de la Fusión happened? The “Great Recession”, the longest recession since World War II that started in late 2007, was on its way out. We were hopeful; we had a new president, the first one of color. The galleries were active in Culver City and West LA, till they either moved (like the host gallery Corey Helford), or closed a few years later. 

The opening for La Noche de la Fusión was magical. I’m glad to have been part of it. It’s sweet to see familiar faces and friends years and years later. Good times. 

– Andy of Baseman Studio (Photos by Kristin Burns)

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