Art, food and celebration: Gary Baseman at Drake One Fifty

September 21, 2015

If you ask a contemporary art lover who would be on their dream dinner party guest list, they might say Toby “the keeper of secrets” and some Wild Girls. These are just a few of the iconic characters created by Los Angeles-based art star Gary Baseman, and now he’s bringing them to life at Drake One Fifty.

On Sept.9, Baseman debuted his whimsical exhibition, My Eyes Are Bigger than my Stomach, showcasing his new series of site-specific works. Guests mingled over cocktails and canapés, while marvelling at Baseman’s immersive opening.

Best known for his cartoon-inspired sculptures, paintings and illustrations, Baseman’s career has included working for clients including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, best-selling board game Cranium and Coach’s ready-to-wear spring 2015 collection.

Following his international success exhibiting at galleries around the world, the artist has now launched his first solo exhibition in Canada, which will be open for one year at the Drake One Fifty.

With a mural featuring his trademark characters, custom printed plates, serving trays and place mats inspired by his adventures abroad, the exhibit adds a playful spin to the restaurant’s already stunning interior.

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“I wanted to use the theme of food as a way of celebrating every culture. When I travel, I keep a record of where I’m eating and what I’m doing,” says Baseman.

Influenced by the way in which people share photos of food via social media, Baseman adds that he wanted his drawings to capture the local cultures and delicacies he experienced during his travels. From Hong Kong to Paris, to Florence to Taipei, the artist has translated his global adventures into inspired illustrations.

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“For me, art is about sharing our humanity, our narrative, our dreams and our fears. I don’t want people to feel intimidated by art or that they’re not worthy enough to understand it,” says Baseman.

With the exhibition running at the Drake One Fifty near Adelaide and York Street, Baseman is opening up his fascinating world to Toronto’s downtown crowd. Dining in Toronto’s financial district just got much more interesting.

By Julia Eskins
Photography by Aleyah Solomon

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