• Gary Baseman

In Memento Moa, an exhibition of all new work, Gary Baseman creates a mythical land of hybrid creatures—exploring themes of migration, memory, and mortality.

Playing off the phrase “memento mori” which expresses the inevitability of death, Baseman reimagines Aotearoa New Zealand as a land of rebirth and harmony, bringing back the giant moa from extinction to symbolize those loved and now lost. Baseman pays tribute to his beloved cousin who immigrated to New Zealand from the United States, but whom he never visited at her new home during her lifetime. Through iconic characters set in fantastical landscapes, Memento Moa considers family, history, and the idea of home with the artist’s longstanding desire to “celebrate the beauty of the bittersweetness of life.”

About Gary Baseman
Based in Los Angeles, Gary Baseman uses painting, performance, film, and fashion to explore the beauty and bittersweetness of life. Baseman's multifaceted career includes illustration for prominent clients such as The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and The Wall Street Journal, as well as the creation of artwork for the bestselling board game Cranium. He is a frequent speaker at international conferences on graphic and multidisciplinary arts and visual communications. Baseman's travelling retrospective, featuring hundreds of his paintings, photographs, videos, toy, and costume designs, is not to be missed.

His work is thought-provoking, visually stunning, and appeals to fans of fine art and pop culture alike. There's something for everyone in Baseman's art, so prepare to be captivated and inspired.

Opening Hours

  • Open daily
  • 9.30am - 4.30pm


  • 208 Bridge Street
  • Whakatū, Nelson