A few weeks back I was invited to go see the Tim Burton art exhibit that’s been happening for some months in my little city. Honestly it was not something I was rushing out to really go see and take in, as fans of Tim Burton tend to be on the cultist side of things rather than typical admirers (which probably mirrors his own cult like admiration for Ed Wood). Anyways if you’re a big fan of Burton, then the exhibit is more or less a catalogue of his work from the early 80s to the present.
The meat of the gallery is concept work from the long line of movies he’s done such as; Batman, Edward Scissor Hands, Planet of the Apes, Sweeny Todd and of course the obligatory props and artwork for The Nightmare Before Christmas. It was kind of cool to see all the props and all the concept work he produced for the movies, which doesn’t look too entirely different from the final movies. More interesting was a few of the production notes he had for some movies and some of his lesser known works such as “The World of StainBoy” which they had both design models and the shorts playing.
The exhibit did a good job of showing off a lot of the works he had a big hand in creating or coming up with concepts with and that was good and all, but the better part of the show was a small room which was basically off to the side and contained all his more personal works that were not related to big time production movies. For me, that stood out as a better representation of Tim Burton the artist over Tim Burton the mega star director. It seemed to be a lot more genuine works for a gallery exhibit given the fact that everything else was related to a movie or a largely funded entertainment investment. The works in the side room told a lot more about the man behind movies such as Alice in Wonderland or Mars Attacks.
Things they had in the room were his early home movies and works he did in his college years. They had a collection of small pictures broken in to categories like Men, Woman, Couples which stylings have had a clear hand in developing his other later movies. That room was worth more to check out than all the monster concepts he came up with for movies (not to say there weren’t any in there that didn’t make it into movies). One other interesting work of Burton’s you get to see is his take on Hansel and Gretel that had an all asian cast to it. If you’re able to check it out, then do it as you will not be disappointed.
It’s very much a worth while to go check out the exhibit if you have more than a passing interest in his works. In addition you should look into one of the men who helps bring a lot of Burton’s works to life Albert Cuellar, who’s actually more mysterious than Tim Burton himself. Below is a video about him and some of the sculptures you will find at the exhibit.
Oh and they have Christopher Walken’s head there too.