Close up of the the Toby Key - Gary Baseman x Pretty In Plastic
Great new article on recapping Gary Baseman's "The Door is Always Open" at Skirball, on FECAL FACE yesterday, by the awesome Kristen Bauer.
Gary Baseman tells Kristen the story behind the Toby Key. The making of the key is a collaboration between Gary Baseman & Pretty In Plastic.
K: Tell me about that- as I understand there's a bit of a story there. I heard it was the key to your grandmother's place- is that true?
""G: No, it was my folks'. They were like grandparents. This is the key that actually belongs to the closet in my parents' home. I had Julie from Pretty in Plastic cast that key and then rework it to put a Toby head on it because Toby is the keeper of your secrets and this is the closet that I found this book about my fathers town that used to be in Poland but now it's part of the Ukraine. My parents were Holocaust survivors so these towns were completely mass murdered in the war, everyone was killed except for maybe a hundred people and my dad fled into the woods and became a Partisan. In that closet is not only where we kept the family albums but also there were interesting items and I would play in there as a kid. That's where, in the last few months, I found the book about my father's town. Many people wrote the story about it and there were pages in that book that talked about my father directly. I wanted to cast that key and I wasn't putting it in a gift bag where if just cause people came they would get a key. In fact, I had friends who were trying to just grab keys and I told them to put them back because the way I wanted people to receive keys was by engaging with me, by greeting me. Then I would tell them the story and invite them into my home and offer them a key to my house. So that's what I did. Unfortunately, there were thousands of people there- I had hundreds and hundreds of friends that couldn't even reach me, there were a lot of friends I didn't even realize were there."
In this interview, Kristen captures the spirit of the retrospective and installation:
""When I was born my parents were older, when they had me, so they were almost more like grandparents in a way. But then also when my father passed I became overwhelmed with needing to be the keeper of his story. In the sense that I've had these characters called these Magi Spirits, that are the keeper of one's memories, that I had in an exhibition at the Pasadena Museum of Art. Then with Toby's Secret Society and these Magi, so it became for me about that after my dad passed. He had this serious history that I never saw firsthand because I was born and raised in LA. It all happened twenty years before I was alive, so for me it was knowing some of his story and having to search to discover new secrets about my family and finding a way to tell that tale in a way that I'm also talking about my art and my career."
Did you get one? If you didn't...don't panic...we have a special surprise for you soon ;)
Army of Toby Keys ;)
More great pics at Los Angeles I am Yours!
Stay Tuned for "THE MAKING OF THE TOBY KEY..."