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August 9, 2013     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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August 9, 2013

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PAGE 16A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, AUGUST 9, 2013 r Edmon J. Rodman Toby, one of the characters of contemporary artist Gary Baseman, is seated at the Jewish holiday table in Baseman's show at the SkirbaU Cultural Center in Los Angeles. By Edmon J. Rodman hospitality: "Gary, the door is up as a boy, 'and the artistic always open." designer of "Cranium, a Just how open? The night popular board game, has also In itingthemuseumvisitor of the show's opening, Base- givenlectures andworkshops down hallways and through man dedicated and helped at the Bezalel Academy ofArt rooms of rendered memories hang a mezuzah based on the Design in Israel. and memorials, the Gary one that hung at his parent's Baseman used his parents' Baseman show at the Skirball home--it has the head of one real dining room set--they CulturalCenterinLosAngeles of his characters--as he wel- have both passed away--fo uses a design based on the art- comedacrowded museum full the show. ist'sJewish childhood home to of fans and family to the show. "I wanted people to feel offer up a retrospective of his The retrospective, which comfortable and develop a extended family 0fcharacters, runs through Aug. 18, is rapportwiththeartworkand related artworks, and family the first major solo show for a feel for the alien or distant," memorabilia, the Los Angeles artist at an Baseman, who even designed The show's title, "The Door American Jewish museum,slipcovers and wallpapers for is Always Open," is taken from Baseman, who is the creator the show, said in an interview a remark Baseman's Yiddish oftheEmmy-winningDisneyfrom his studio. "I wanted speaking father made while cartoon series, "Teacher's people to feel enchanted with explaining his attitude about Pet," about a dog who dresses my world." Join Beth Schafer & the band to I.create Shabbat Joy, Intimate l Spirituality and Complete Peace. This $hobbot Chovayah, Temple Shir Shalom's Shabbat Experience will focus on the spiritual preparation we need to ready ourselves for Rosh Hashanah and Yore Kippur. Rejoice, rejuvenate & refocus as we enter this holy season. Friday, August 23th, UCUMC EpiCenter 1395 Campus View Court • Oviedo, FL 32765 (407) 366-3556 www.templeshirshalom.orq at 7:30 pm * High Holiday Tickets are available. * Religious school open house & registration 9 am on Sun., Aug. 25th at Double R School in Chuluota. Unlike the usual museum environment, Baseman oint- ed out that people do come in and sit on the furniture. The artist, whose work skirts a line between fine art and art toys, has also created covers for the New Yorker and illustrations• for Time, as well as ad campaigns for Nike and Mercedes-Benz. His smiling but oddly men- acing characters, who you also might suspect commit acts of mayhem and worse while you're not looking, are available online and in gallery shops in hipster neighbor- hoods around the country-- even Beverly Hills, as Lladro recently released a porcelain version of a design he created for them there. Baseman is also on a mis- sion "to make being Jewish Edrnon J. Rodman cool," and one of his creations, Contemporary artist Gary Baseman with the mezuzah he "Gefilte," a multi-headed designed, based on the one from his parents' home, for his green and finny character, is show at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. pictured on the aprons that docents wear as they give Canter's deli, the grinning According toAaronRosen, museum visitors the tour. On Toby prepares the visitor for a the author of the show's cata- the'other hand, a'notherofhis house tour of glimpsed Base- logue, the work that shows a characters, "Pupik," is not in man memories, little girl wearing a home- theshow. There is a living room,made ghostcostumewiththe "He's got an outtie," Base- where Baseman remembersword "Met" appearing on her man said of Pupik, who is drawing as a child--he has forehead memorializes "the festooned with erect orange added cushions with his char- children who perished during appendages. Museum of- acters on them to the chairs, the Holocaust." The other. ficials passed on including A studyis filled with elements figure in the piece, Beverly, that character in the family- of pop culture that inspired Baseman's favorite cousin friendly show. him, and a den where his TV who met an untimely death, With photos and family show is playing on a vintage has the word "Emet" on the • videosintermixedwithhisart, set. Ondisplay inthe backyard front of her cap. the show invites the visitor to is Baseman's childhood take "Truth isbigtherhe for me," enterandrespondtotheinner on a Superman costume, said Baseman, whowantsvisi- world of a Jewish family, with the Hebrew letter"Shin" tors, especially the younger Seatedintheshow's"dining replacing the "S." • adults who make up the base room'~ at. his mother's table, On display in the bedroom of fans to relate to his parents' including china and silver- are darker works, whereexperience in the Holocaust. ware set for a Jewish holiday Baseman's fantasies merge During World War II, his meal, is the fez-wearing with older established Jewish father, who escaped from a life-size Toby, Baseman's all- folklore. A tale with which campintothewoods, became seeing character, who has Baseman recently becamea partisanandfoughtagainst a huge eye" painted on his familiar, the golem--the story the Nazis.- middle.Inanothershowofthe of a man made of clay who "My parents protecte l artist'swork, Tobyisdescribed protects the Jews of Prague-- me from that burden," said as"Yourshadow.Yourmirror, bridges the gap between the Baseman, who has traveled Your best friend in the whole two mythologies, to Poland and the Ukraine wide world." The golem, who came alive on a Fulbright Fellowship to Toby is "the keeper of your when the word"Emet" (truth) recapture his parents' history. secrets," said Baseman.was written on his forehead, But .once his parents were Posing amidst a settingand died when the letter gone, how did the door stay evocative of the Jewish Fair- aleph was erased, leaving open? fax district where Baseman "Met," (death), is referenced "Once their physical home had his bar mitzvah and his in Baseman's work, "Beverly wasn0more, the creative door mother worked in the famous (In memoriam)." is always open," Baseman said. .n WASHINGTON(JTA)--The ligations and find a peaceful Netanyahu said."Iran's inten- inauguration of a new Iranian solution to this issue, it will tion is to develop a nuclear ca: president is an opportunity to find a willing partner in the pability and nuclear weapons address international concern United States:" in order to destroy the State over Iran's nuclear program, Rohani has expressed will- of Israel, and this constitutes the White House said. ingness to make more trans- a danger not only to us and TheWhite Housestatementparent a nuclear program he the Middle East but the entire Sunday, a day after Hassan insists is peaceful, world, and we are all commit- Rohani was inaugurated,Israeli Prime Minister Ben- ted to prevent this." was notably not in President jamin Netanyahu has dis- Netanyahu's original com- Obama's name and did not missed Rohani's calls, saying ment on Friday was based on congratulate Rohani but the the new Iranian leader is the misreporting of remarks "Iranian people." putting a more palatable face Rohani delivered to the media "We again congratulate the on the aggressive posture of on Quds Day, an annual Ira- Iranian people for making his predecessor, Mahmoud nian protest at Israel's control theirvoices heard during Iran's Ahmadinejad. ofJerusalemthat has spread to election," the statement said. On Sunday, Netanyahu the rest of the Muslim worl& "The inauguration of Presi- would not back down from Rohanispokeofa'%voundon dentRohani presents an his comments two days ear- thebodyoftheIslamicworld," opportunity for Iran to act lier that the world must cast but did not specify whether he quickly to resolve the inter- off the "illusion" of Rohani's was referring to Israel or its national community's deep professed moderation and see control of Jerusalem. concerns over Iran's nuclear his true face. The initial erroneous re- program. Should this new "The president of Iran has ports, seized upon by Netan- government choose to engage been replaced, but the goal yahu, said the "wound" was substantively and seriously of the regime has not been Israel and that Rohani sought to meet its international ob- replaced, it remains as itwas," its removal.