Thursday, August 25, 2011

Traveling Thursdays: LACMA & Tim Burton exhibit

Have you ever gotten excited about an exhibit at a museum? You can't wait to see the art by the "star" of the show, but when you get to the show, there are only a handful of pieces by the artist, and the rest is filler. I can assure you that the Tim Burton exhibit at LACMA is not THAT show!

First off, I will admit that I actually paid attention to security and kept my camera in the bag this time. Although there was plenty that I would have loved to shoot, I decided to be respectful (for once). There was room after room after room of Tim Burton's drawings, sketches, paintings, movie props, costumes, and photographs. This exhibit was exhaustively complete.

In addition, there were samples of Burton's work that dated back to his childhood. I always wondered where this guy got some of his crazy ideas from, and now I know: Mad Magazine. You can even see in a number of early cartoons that he did that Burton loved Don Martin and the other wacky artists that made Mad Magazine of yesteryear such a hit for young kids.

If you're not familiar with Don Martin, this is the kind of crazy stuff he put out:

I used to buy Mad Magazine just to see Martin's work. Now I see why I have loved Tim Burton's wacky sense of humor. He not only likes to look at the dark side of life, he also loves the comedy and laughter.

Here are some shots of the entrance to the exhibit. Just in case you weren't sure what was inside, this should give you a huge clue.

I will warn you, that even though the show is open until 10/31, crowds were huge the day I went. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO SEE THIS!

One of the highlights for me was entering a dark room lit by black light, with this crazy Tim Burton carousel rotating inside:

If you're a Pee Wee Herman nut, the actual eyeballs used in the Large Marge sequence of "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" are also part of this exhibit. They may not be high art, but damn if they aren't an important piece of pop culture! And the scene itself:

Not sure if this is a tantalizing glimpse of an upcoming exhibit or what, but it looks mighty cool to me!

See more LACMA photos at my regular website.


Christopher A. Klingler said...

KEWL and looked like a lot of FUN! Thanks for sharing and you always take the best pictures!

CK ★

JG said...

Hi Dave. I'll take Don Martin and you can have Tim Burton.

I think I had every Don Martin MAD collection there was...sigh.

I'm sure Burton is a genius, but none of it clicks with me. Too old I guess, (me, not Burton).


Major Pepperidge said...

My friends from Austria went to see that exhibit (with encouragement from their kids) and thought it was a lot of fun!

I'm a fan of a lot of Burton's work, but his track record for movies has been pretty disappointing for a while.

Robby Cress said...

I keep putting having to put off seeing this exhibit because of other commitments, but I'm newly inspired to just get up and go see the Burton exhibit. The Large Marge eyeballs totally won me over.

CoxPilot said...

My first glimpse of Mad mag was at the little market on the corner of South Flower and West St Andrew Place, in Santa Ana, CA. The store is still there. We lived about 4 blocks away. I bought the fist issue, and still have it. I even wrote a book report from it ounce. Go figure. 1952 was a LOOOONG time ago, and 25 cents was a lot of money for a kid then.

Anonymous said...

@CoxPilot. I knew I liked you. I still subscribe to MAD, lo these many moons.


Connie Moreno said...

I loved Mad Magazine! I had to hide it from the nuns in elementary school, LOL!!

I must go see this exhibit. I must!
That last photo reminds me of The Rocketeer for some reason.

Anonymous said...

The trailer under cover in the final photos is believed to be the earliest surviving Airstream. It will be featured in LACMA's next exhibit about California design.