You definitely know Tim Burton’s work as the director of films like Edward Scissorhands, Sweeney Todd, Sleepy Hollow and the most recent version of Alice in Wonderland, but you may not know the depth of his artistic portfolio. We stopped by the Tim Burton exhibit at the LACMA this weekend, and we highly recommend making a visit. The retrospective shows Burton’s evolution as an artist through a collection of over 700 drawings, paintings, photographs, moving-image works, storyboards, puppets, concept artworks, film posters, costumes and props, each culled from Burton’s own archive, film studio vaults, and private collections.
One of our favorite pieces was the Edward Scissorhands costume, derived from an original sketch Burton made of the character, and complete with every detail you remember from the film (except Johnny Depp). We also loved the distressed fabric and incredible detail work of the Headless Horseman’s robe from Sleepy Hollow. And once you have viewed the surrealist imagination of his napkin sketches and pen and ink drawings, you really start to understand his wit and ability to play on words.
Be prepared for some excellent people watching, too, as the show attracts a mix of young teens dressed like they are ready for a Burton audition, artistic types, and even families with strollers. If you go on a weekend, try to get there by 12Noon, before it gets busy. The show is set to run through Halloween. How appropriate.
Bonus: On your way out, don’t miss the Zodiac Heads by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. The circle of 12 bronze sculptures recreates the line of animal heads that once stood atop the Yuan Ming Yuan palace outside Beijing. The sculpture is currently on a world tour, and will stay in LA until Febraury, after spending three months in New York.