A lot of people I know wet their pants with excitement every time Tim Burton directs a film, but I am not so easily impressed. With the exception of 1994’s Ed Wood, which is a work of genius, most of Burton’s films are heavily flawed, poorly directed and a staggering celebration of style over substance that just leaves me puzzled. I realize that I am in the minority on this one, but I doubt my opinion could be swayed. I still plan to see Burton’s take on Alice in Wonderland when it comes out next year, but I plan to get very high first.
My lack of fan-ship when it comes to Burton’s films, however, does not crossover to my view of his artwork, which is pretty amazing. If you’ve seen the illustrations in his book, The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy, you know what I am talking about. So I was very psyched to read just this morning that a retrospective of Burton’s paintings and drawings is coming to the NYC Museum of Modern Art in under two weeks. Burton himself offers that the exhibit is “going to be an out-of-body experience.” Here’s what New York Magazine has to say about the Burton retrospective: “For the show, curators Jenny He and Ron Magliozzi raided Burton’s curiosity cabinets for more than 500 photographs, paintings, doodles, storyboards, stories, sculptures, and sketches dating back to his student years at the California Institute of the Arts. Many have nothing to do with the films he’s directed. Some are on canvas, many on notebook paper. Quite a few are on cocktail napkins. ‘Sometimes these things look like they’re just weird,” Burton says, “but I don’t keep a journal or a diary. They help me to remember a certain feeling — they become time capsules.’” Holy crap, this sounds like one more show not to miss!
Tim Burton at MOMA opens November 22nd!