Art & Design: The Tim Burton Retrospective

Monsters with eight extra limbs, science experiments brought to life, and unnatural oddities are just the sort of thing nightmares are made of. But if you’re Tim Burton, they’re the sort of thing billion dollar blockbusters are made of. The way he reinvented Hollywood movies as an expression of personal vision makes Burton an artistic legend.

To honor him, LACMA has presented a skillfully curated retrospective of the full range of his creativity. Starting with his childhood in Burbank, CA, visitors get an intimate look at some of his early works that include poems written and doodled on to loose leaf paper that were never meant to be shown to the world. Deeper into the maze of his work, costumes from movies like Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands are displayed high on the walls and in glass boxes adding to the drama of the exhibit. Mediums range from crayons to modeling clay, leather to black light.

Much like the characters he depicts, Burton grew up feeling like an outsider where his creations were dark in nature but had an innocent quality. The epitome of his work was a muse for another artistic legend, the late designer, Alexander McQueen. Also favoring the odd and fantastic, McQueen was quoted in his own retrospective, Savage Beauty, referring to his Fall/Winter 02 collection, “This collection was inspired by Tim Burton. It started off dark and then got more romantic as it went along.”

Explore both sides of Tim Burton at LACMA until October 31st, 2011.

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