Last night I became a "studio member" of the Pasadena Museum of California Art. It is a tiny museum, a short distance from my apartment, with only space for about 4 exhibitions. Honestly, I wouldn't even know of its existence had a friend not invited me to the opening of a Gary Baseman exhibition. You know you are in for an interesting mix of art when the patrons in attendance vary between senior citizens in suits and ties to young artists in ripped jeans and flip flops. True to form, the art ranged from turn of the century impressionism (I'm usually not a fan of the Impressionists, but some of the paintings by Alson Skinner Clark charmed me) to that of Gary Baseman. I believe his style is called "lowbrow" (or so my friend informed me), but really it is a cartoon aesthetic as art. The artist, who was very nice and totally unassuming, gave us a cerebral explanation of his art – physical representations of the past, hope, desire and dirty little secrets, etc. – which gave the art more depth, but I still wanted to ask: Why? Why represent such serious topics with cutesy caricatures? What is the artistic value in that endeavor? Since I have a feeling artists aren't so interested in having that discussion on their opening night, I thought it would be more appropriate to smile and nod my head.