Baseman, best known as a top illustrator (his extensive and excellent work was collected in the 2004 book Dumb Luck), has made his mark across many disciplines from fine art to mass culture-in addition to painting and illustration he is behind the visual identity for the best-selling Cranium games, and he created the TV show and feature film Teacher's Pet with Disney. He's now stepping up efforts to bring Brand Baseman to a medium even nearer you. When Baseman says "I want to be a household name," he's smiling but not really kidding. As an artist, he's spearheaded a burgeoning L.A.-based art scene that includes people like Tim Biskup who, like Tristan Eaton (see story opposite) practice what Baseman has coined "pervasive art"-the dedication to creating art without respect for format or medium boundaries, pushing it into more pop cultural areas while maintaining the integrity of the artist's vision. "The goal is to start an art company," says Baseman, to harness his and his L.A. friends' multifaceted art instincts and "create products, create art," from the experimental and expensive to the mass targeted.
Baseman seems well-suited to realize this cultural-artistic world domination plan. After all, the masses have acquired a taste for good design-why shouldn't they warm to fine art if it's presented in such a lovable way? Illustrators are "master visual message makers" says Baseman, and, indeed, he acknowledges his own work is "iconic" and chock full of human truths.
And what better foot soldier, albeit a seated one, than the slow-witted savants of love, the Dunces. "My goal, really, is to blur the lines between all the manufactured boundaries between disciplines and media," says Baseman. "I feel things should be judged between good work and bad."