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Disappointed art review for Tim Burton exhibit

The LA Times reviewed the traveling exhibit of The Art of Tim Burton that originated at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. In all 700 or so artifacts from his original sketches and movie memorabilia are on display.

The LA Times wasn’t that impressed

Art museums often have a tough time with shows about popular culture. After all, the actual art is made to be seen in a multiplex, on TV, at the shopping mall or in a similar public or private place. (LACMA’s film department is screening a retrospective of Burton’s movies.) So the museum is limited to showing objects at least once or twice removed — drawings and studies, say, or plans and commercial souvenirs. “Tim Burton,” in addition to hundreds of sketches, has lots of movie memorabilia, much of it made by other hands according to the director’s specifications.

I wouldn’t call myself an ardent Tim Burton fan, but I’m always interested in seeing the original art/sketches that inspires scenes of movies.

Community Comments

#1 Brian Fies
May/31/2011
@ 10:16 am

Huh. I saw this exhibit at the MOMA and found it incredibly interesting and even inspiring. Tons of sketches, models, dioramas, and thingamajigs all made by Burton himself impressed me with how hard he works and how prolific he is. He must get up and create three crazy things before breakfast.

I could understand that some of the movie memorabilia might not impress an LA crowd, but it’s fun to see a movie Batman suit and that type of thing was far from the focus of the exhibit. At least as displayed at MOMA (and I don’t know how it’s displayed in LA or whether all the pieces made the trip), it showed the progress of an artist from juvenilia through college and early animation efforts to blockbuster films. It also pulled together themes that wind through many of Burton’s projects, like his recurring exploration of characters who are taken apart (sometimes literally, like Edward Scissorhands, sometimes metaphorically, like Batman) and put back together just a little . . . bit . . . off. I thought it was terrific and recommend it to any fan of cartooning, animation or film. Made me want to go home and work harder.

#2 Starr D.
May/31/2011
@ 1:54 pm

The “LA Times” just gets a kick out of being negative
about SO many things that normal people would enjoy…..
it’s been this way for years, as far as I’m concerned.
To me, if the “LA Times” gives something a bad review,
it could just mean it’s the best thing ever!

#3 Alex Hallatt
June/1/2011
@ 7:03 pm

I saw this exhibition in Melbourne and it was fascinating to see the evolution of TB’s style. Inspiring, particularly as you can see he wasn’t a great artist. He remained true to himself and developed a great visual signature for his movies.

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