Tim Burton’s MoMA Retrospective
What rotten eyeballs have to do with creative storytelling and the visual heritage of our era.
By Maria Popova
Tim Burton is one of the great creative storytellers of our day, purveying delightful darkness since the 80’s. This Sunday, the Museum of Modern Art open a major retrospective of his work, from Beetlejuice to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by way of the fascinating photos, props, puppets and hand-drawings Burton has done over the course of the past two decades.
And it comes as no surprise that Burton himself would direct this brilliant spot promoting the exhibition — including a beautiful animated reconstruction of the MoMA logo.
Part of what makes Burton so extraordinary is that he is a true contemporary Renaissance man — director, producer, fiction writer, illustrator, photographer and concept artist. In an era of micro-niche specialization and outsourcing of everything, it’s refreshing to see that the singularity of artistic vision and creative control is still alive.
Taking inspiration from sources in pop culture, Burton has reinvented Hollywood genre filmmaking as a spiritual experience, influencing a generation of young artists working in film, video, and graphics.
The exhibition spans an enormous breadth of Burton’s work, from his earliest non-professional films to his big blockbusters to never-before-seen pieces and unrealized projects.
If you’re in the NYC area, this exhibition is a must-see. And, if not, you can still experience it vicariously through this excellent sneak-peek slideshow.
Published November 20, 2009