L.A. homeboy Gary Baseman, who transformed the Skirball into a surreal rendering of his childhood home for the Skirball exhibition The Door Is Always Open, has collaborated with South Africa’s most famous art-rap weirods Die Antwoord on a music video.
This time around, the animated black-and-white video features the Buckingham Warrior, one of Baseman’s plethora of creepy-cute characters. In the clip, the adorable bowling pin-shaped guy with antlers made of tree branches battles the forces of evil in a Polish forest in 1941. The story was inspired by the real experiences of Baseman’s father, who was a partisan fighter during WWII. Then you’ve got Ninja of Die Antwoord rapping over the silent film-like imagery.
Here’s what Baseman had to say about the connection between his family’s history and his art when we interviewed him a while back.
Do you see any of these themes playing out in your art?
The Skirball started asking me what my art has to do with my heritage, and my first answer was nothing. But the more I started looking at it, the more it started playing a very big role. My little ChouChous and Venison both take place in the woods. And I started realizing the only reason my mom and dad were able to escape was because of the woods. There’s deep forest wrapped around these little shtetls. If it weren’t for the woods protecting people who were escaping—if it was open field, they would have been caught and killed.
Baseman and Die Antwoord have something of a mutual appreciation society going on. They met at Coachella a few years ago and when the South African duo released its debut album, $O$, in 2009, Ninja wore a hooded robe designed by Baseman on the cover.