Last night I went to see the Tim Burton exhibit at LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art). I am admittedly a horrible LACMA member, having all this time to go see the show and I wait until closing week. The exhibit drew an interesting crowd, a mixture of gallery snobs, hipsters and pop punk teens adorned with their black and white striped shirts or tights and Jack Skellington winter caps.
LACMA describes: "The exhibition brings together over 700 drawings, paintings, photographs, moving-image works, storyboards, puppets, concept artworks, maquettes, costumes, and cinematic ephemera, including art from a number of unrealized and little-known personal projects. Many of these objects come from the artist's own archive, as well as from studio archives and private collections of Burton's collaborators."
Critic Christopher Knight wrote:“Tim Burton, the big, poorly organized traveling show from New York’s Museum of Modern Art that surveys the genesis and development of the Hollywood director’s distinctive visual style, opened Sunday at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It should be effervescent. Instead, the show is a monotonous plod. In an art museum, do we really need to see baby Penguin’s black-wicker pram from “Batman,” Catwoman’s shredded polyurethane cat suit or the fluffy angora sweater used as a fetishistic prop in “Ed Wood“? Such dark or peculiar items are often outward signs of their character’s concealed inner life; but that’s catalog essay interpretation, not exhibition material. You get the feeling they’re only here to satisfy the paying movie fans. Sometimes the display looks like the Arclight Cinema lobby on steroids. Toss in assorted puppets and a few toy-like sculptures, such as a suspended flying-saucer carousel illuminated by black-lights, and the quotient of celebrity self-indulgence climbs.”
I want to wind that up by saying that I really enjoyed the exhibit. I can see some merit in what Knight wrote, it is slightly obscure for a fine art museum and the organization and layout did leave much to be desired. The illustrations, props, maquettes and other ephemera were grouped by project which made sense and I feel that the selections made for most of the works were well rounded. The largest short coming seemed to be on LACMA's behalf. The floor plan left you with no sense of where to start and how to flow through the show which was pretty important for the turn out of patrons. Additionally I would have liked to see the entire show in chronological order of his earliest works to his latest. There seemed to be a little of this but again it varied depending on how you walked through.
All in all I really enjoyed everything that I saw at the show. It was a great experience to take a peak into Burtons head and see how he worked. If you havent been to the show yet I highly encourage you to try and get tickets if they're still available.
On Sunday, October 30th, the exhibition will remain open all night, and on Monday, October 31st, it will be open until midnight. Tickets will be half-price from 12 am to 9 am on Monday morning.
Photo Credits: Myself, LACMA website and my friend Iris who sneakily snapped shots dodging the eyes of LACMAs security.