Have Your Mind Blown at MOMA’s Tim Burton Art Retrospective!


Geoffrey and I learned our lesson a few week’s ago about “just showing up” at NYC’s Museum of Modern Art and trying to get in to see the Tim Burton Retrospective on the strength of our Corporate Memberships. That lesson was: it doesn’t happen. I cannot put too fine a point on letting you know that advance tickets are an absolute necessity. Otherwise you’ll never be granted access to what is surely the most overwhelmingly amazing and impressive art exhibit I’ve seen in my life. And I have seen a shitload of art.

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Dangerous Toys (Photo By Geoffrey Dicker)

I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts that Tim Burton’s films are consistently hit or miss with me – the hits being Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Ed Wood and 80 percent of Beetlejuice; the misses being, oh, just about everything else he’s directed. But what have always resonated with me are Burton’s outrageous visual sense of the absurd and his darkly humorous predilection for the macabre. Despite his lack of ability to just tell a fucking story, it cannot be denied that he’s a staggeringly talented visual artist.

Another Friend of Mine Named  Jeff Visited the Exhibit and Let Me Post This Shot of him at the Gallery Entrance! Coolness! People Behind Him Are Watching the Stain Boy Videos.

I barely know where to start in describing how mind-blowing this exhibit is, but maybe the best place is at the beginning of the galleries, with the series of short animated videos featuring the twisted adventures of Burton’s Stain Boy character. Stain Boy is a diminutive, mutant superhero whose only superpower is that he leaves a stain wherever he goes. Each of these five or six videos are about 3 minutes long, and although you have the option of skipping them and taking an express lane into the main exhibit, I strongly urge you to take the extra time to view each one, because they are genius.

Inside the main gallery you’ll find what Geoffrey and I estimated to be between 700 and a thousand pieces of art from Burton’s collection, (many dating back to his high school days in Burbank, California) of caricature sketches, rough notebook drawings, canvases, story boards, sculptures, short films and on to personal correspondences, props and costumes from his many movies. Represented are items from Beetlejuice, Planet of the Apes, Mars Attacks, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Sleepy Hollow, Sweeny Todd, The Corpse Bride, Edward Scissorhands, what is arguably Burton’s most popular film, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and everything else he’s ever had a hand in or on. Comprehensive!

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Corpse Bride (Photo By Geoffrey Dicker)

There was not one item in the entire collection that did not make me stop and say “Wow.” So, high Wow Factor and all, I think you need to see this thing. Photography is not allowed, but Geoffrey always seems to find a way around that, thank god.  It was extremely crowded as well and it took us  two hours to walk the entire exhibit, but it was so well worth it. Our viewing time was at 3:00 PM and we were done by 5:00 PM. Afterward we went out for Mexican food, what a fun day!

Tim Burton at MOMA runs through April 26, 2010. For more information and to purchase advance tickets for just $20 (which includes full admission to all galleries at the Museum) visit MOMA Dot Org.

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