Friday, December 04, 2009

Pop Culture MoMA

We visited the Museum of Modern Art in New York this afternoon for the sole purpose of seeing the "Tim Burton and the Lurid Beauty of Monsters" exhibit. I regret to inform you that photos are not allowed at the exhibit, so I don't have any to share. You have until April 26, 2010, to see the Burton's work for yourself.

This was definitely one of the best art exhibits I have ever seen (and I've seen some impressive ones of Dali and Miro). The exhibit contains a chronology of Tim Burton's work--some early cartoons that include an unpublished children's book about monsters, character sketches from his films, and original drawings from his published book The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories. Not all of the work is Burton's, some of it is costumes and storyboards from his movies that other people made.

Entering through the mouth of demonic circus monster, visitors see some of Burton's cartoons as they're led into a dark room of glowing paintings and an alien carousel of sorts. Then visitors can enter to the doors to the full exhibit.

I'm fairly certain we went through the exhibit backwards--to the left of the door is Tim Burton's earlier work. His paintings and drawings remind me of a twisted and colorful Charles Addams with a few more clowns and aliens. The color and ridiculous shapes of his monsters are what make the grotesque images humorous--exactly what Burton has made his living on through his films.

Though Jia didn't know who Tim Burton was prior to the exhibit, I did introduce her to some of his movies in China--Sleepy Hollow, Corpse Bride, Sweeney Todd, and Charlie and Chocolate Factory. Now I have to make her watch Mars Attacks (one of my favorites because I love sci-fi B-movies).

And for the movie buffs, MoMA will be showing some sci-fi and horror films until the exhibit closes. When else will you be able to see Plan 9 from Outer Space at an art museum?

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