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Tim Burton’s Life’s Work at LACMA

Step into the Los Angeles County of Museum of Art (LACMA) starting May 29th and get ready to see over 700 creative works from the one and only Tim Burton. This show first debuted at New York's Museum of Modern Art, where it brought in an estimated 810,500 visitors, making it the third most popular show in the museum's history – only behind Matisse in 1992 and Picasso in 1980! It then traveled to Melbourne, Australia and Toronto, Canada before coming to Los Angeles.

This major retrospective will surprise and delight you as you walk down memory lane. Step into one room and you'll see the headpiece that Michael Keaton wore in the director's 1989 Batman film and, at the same time, you'll stand back in awe as you gaze upon Johnny Depp's Edward Scissorhands costume.

Around every corner is a piece of Hollywood history but, more than that, you'll get to know how Tim Burton, the artist, ultimately became who he is today. The exhibition is divided up into three sections which all center around Burbank, the city where he grew up. There's “Surviving Burbank,” or his early years, “Beautifying Burbank,” where Burton comes into his own, studying at CalArts and working at Walt Disney Studios, and finally “Beyond Burbank,” the time in his life when he segues into feature films.

As Britt Salvesen, Department Head and Curator of the Wallis Annenberg Department of Photography and Department Head of Curator of Prints and Drawings, and the one who organized this show at the LACMA states, “This exhibition shows the full range of Tim Burton's extraordinary creativity. Most people have a good sense of his style, but seeing his show demonstrates how persistent his vision is and how evident it was very early on, before he was even thinking about making full-scale feature films. Many of his recurring themes stem from childhood and adolescence and combine a unique mixture of horror and humor.”

On behalf of My Modern Met, we were invited to experience this show four days before it opens to the public. If you're looking for some creative inspiration, this is where you'll find it. Come to the LACMA to take in Tim Burton's drawings, paintings, photos, films, storyboards, costumes and more. Whether you're an artist, illustrator, photographer, writer or just someone who appreciates creative ideas, check out this show. You're going to love it!

Here's Tim Burton's statement:

“Growing up in Burbank, there wasn't much of a museum culture. I never visited one until I was a teenager (unless you count the Hollywood Wax Museum). I occupied my time going to see monster movies, watching television, drawing, and playing in the local cemetery. Later, when I did start frequenting museums, I was struck by how similar the vibe was to the cemetery. Not in a morbid way, but both have a quiet, introspective, yet electifying atmosphere. Excitement, mystery, discovery, life and death all in one place. So all these years later, to have this exhibition, to be showing things – some of which weren't meant to ever be seen, or are just pieces of the larger picture – is very special to me.”

Make sure you catch this exhibition if you're in Los Angeles or coming through this town. It's from May 29 to October 31, 2011.

LACMA Website Photo credit: Alice Yoo / My Modern Met

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