Nine Lives solo show in Beijing opens Oct 1
The art of Gary Baseman returns to China October 1, 2022 with the exhibition Nine Lives, featuring his longtime companion and creative collaborator Blackie the Cat.
With dozens of original drawings and paintings, newly presented videos and large-scale installations, Nine Lives offers a peek into the world of a famous black cat that was an inspiration not only for Baseman but to fans and admirers around the globe.
Nine Lives explores how Blackie the Cat reinvented himself during his 18 years of life.
“Nine lives” refers to the idea that cats can make lucky escapes from dangerous situations. Blackie started out life as a stray cat, and found a permanent home with Baseman in 2006. For years until his passing in 2020, he offered inspiration and moral support to the artist as he completed numerous projects in fine art, illustration, performance art, fashion, toy design, and film.
Baseman states, “I’ve never been closer to another living soul than Blackie the Cat. His magical brilliance transformed me. He taught me how to be a better human.”
Presented in an environment that visually narrates the story and bond between the artist and his extraordinary feline muse, Baseman offers an emotional journey both enlightening and experiential that celebrates the beauty of the bittersweetness of life. Known for creating work that explores the human condition, Baseman bridges together the worlds of popular culture and
fine art to honor the life and lessons learned from Blackie the Cat.
The exhibition includes:
- Artifacts and photographs of the real Blackie the Cat, and a range of portraits that memorialize the feline and pay homage to early animation, iconic films and music, and the artist’s hometown of Hollywood.
- “The Blackie the Cat Show” displayed in a TV Studio, featuring unscripted videos, originally shared through social media, that show the playful exchanges between “Blackie and his boy Gary.”
- A video installation of Blackie’s daily walks through the neighborhood, an exercise he began in the last period of his life that inspired Baseman to practice mindfulness and reflect on mortality.
- Two large-scale works, including The Mighty Paw that represents resilience and strength; and the Purr Room, an immersive sound bath installation that features the meditative “triple purr” of Blackie the Cat.
October 1 – November, 27, 2022
No.3 Taoci Road
798 Art District
Chaoyang, Beijing, CHINA