Gary Baseman was born in Los Angeles in 1960, and is considered one of the prime movers of the new American Pop Surrealist avant-garde. A pervasive artist who crosses the creative media boundaries of fine art, toy design, animation, and fashion, he takes inspiration from early to mid-20th century art and design, including cartoons created by Warner Brothers Studio and Walt Disney.
Exploring the “beauty of the bittersweetness of life,” Baseman's art is known for its rawness and humour, with deceptively sweet images that are ironic and dark and converging in a sweet yet chaotic land.
His characters span the mischievous cat Toby, the devil Hotchachacha, and ChouChou and the WildGirls. His otherworldly subjects could represent painful aspects of the human condition. However, Baseman is able to approach the most unpleasant feelings in an optimistic, humorous and playful way. The artist is, thus, able to illustrate misery through characters that make people smile, and that makes himself happy.