September 4th, 2011


Burton @ LACMA

Saw the Tim Burton exhibit at LACMA. Crowded, but still enjoyable. It helped that Dr. Pookie insisted we go early and we hit the nice open air bar and enjoyed charcuterie, peppers and (in my case) a Bijou. A nice day to sit about and watch a characteristic slice of SoCal art patrons wandering the campus.

The exhibit was most interesting to me for the early material. What was Tim Burton before he was Tim Burton? Not a big stretch to imagine that he was into monster movies and Vincent Price, but it was great to see the documentation. If only I had a lot of artistic vision and talent instead of none of either, my childhood would have been much the same. It was also to see the influence of other artists in that early stage. In some pieces there is a lot of Don Martin, and a little Gahan Wilson. It really tickles me that I can even make these comparisons. If Caravaggio borrowed from Rubens, or Arcimboldo from da Vinci, I'd be none the wiser, but I can make an authoritative declaration that Tim Burton was reading Mad Magazine, and I'd be willing to put serious money on it.

Dr. Pookie and I agree that our favorite work was some early cartoon-y work he did. Humorous single-panel comics with witty legends.

I also very much liked his large(-ass) format polaroid photos.

And yes, yes, there's lots of movie stuff. But by this point in his career (say, Beetlejuice on (when I called (with some accuracy) that Noni Ryder was gonna be a big star)) I knew who he was. So definitely neat to see as a trip down memory lane, but not as great a discovery as the stuff I had no idea about. Other visitors felt very differently, with their eyes alight with a fetishist's gleam.

We hit a few of the other LACMA exhibits as well, and then headed home.