I was always interested in Tim Burton’s art and his way of perception which deeply resonates with my inner world. So can you imagine my excitement when I received an opportunity to go to Melbourne and visit Burton’s exhibition at acmi.
I heard about this event a couple of months ago and was secretly dreaming about this opportunity with no hope for my dream to come true. But thanks to my friend’s efforts we made it and came for a short trip to Melbourne. This is how our journey began. Honestly, I was expecting something fantastic and overwhelming but this exhibition surpassed all expectations, it was just unbelievably good. And I do not exaggerate.
The exhibition at acmi presents Burton’s drawings, photographs, movies, puppets, models, poetry and sketches stretching back to his childhood. It provides access to personal and mysterious world of the auteur. Literally, his brain is on display.
Before the entrance to the actual exhibition visitors are able to have a look at some of Burton’s photographs, paintings, models and a Batman car from the movie (you don’t need to pay to see these exhibits).
I guess, all these things can be seen for free in order to generate a bigger interest and make passers-by pass into the paid Burton’s section. In the photographs you can find characters from the Nightmare before Christmas, ex-girlfriend Lisa Marie and quirky objects.
I was personally fascinated by a photograph Untitled (Blue girl with Scull). It is at the same time engaging and confronting. I am amazed by the whole idea and the way it is presented, however, the baby with needles in his body is too much for me. This little part of the gallery already establishes a certain image of the “Burtonesque” style – quirky, dark and gothic.
The Batman car is situated just near the entrance to the main Burton gallery. Although, most people were impressed by the car (to me it reminded a huge and black animal), I was attracted to the window behind the car. It is so unusual. Made in a drop shape and surrounded by hypnotic circles it makes you stare at it for ages. I have received an impression that I am standing here, in Tim Burton’s head and see the “real” world through his eyes.
Finally, we have decided to move to the main gallery. The entrance is decorated in a form of a giant mouth and reminds of an entrance into Luna Park.
Inside visitors can see nearly everything from Burton’s art concerning all his movies. The exhibition begins with his early ages spent in Burbank and ends with a brand new movie Alice in Wonderland. The difference between the real world full of sunshine and more pale colours hugely contrast with the one created by acmi to present Burton’s art. Inside, there is a special lightening; it is darks but still enough for you to clearly see all his artworks. The wall are mostly purple and black, however, some other colors are used as well. Everything is written in a “Burtonesque” style font. The designers of the gallery heavily used Burton’s favorite “things”, such as black and white tiles, spirals, and quirky special trees. Watch out, decorations and artworks can be at any place: beneath your legs or in front of your eyes. All in all, Burton’s art is divided into the periods of his life and movies he filmed in a chronological order.
Critics say “Dark world of Tim Burton” but if you look closer it is not dark, there is so much colour in it. For example, it is shocking how many colours of black or grey you see. Even simple black in his vision is not simple black but something exciting. Interestingly, Burton’s style approaches all audiences and, as a consequence, at the exhibition you can meet people of all ages, from toddlers to elders in their mid 80s. It is so much fun for everyone. After visiting the exhibition I was overwhelmed with the emotions and felt like doing and creating, and my friends have experienced similar emotions.
Burton’s art is interactive. It is the art for everybody without any elitism. There is no wall between you and the artist; you are literally on the same ground. With not a hint of a snobbery, Burton welcomes everyone into his magical world.
Honestly, it is impossible to describe everything you see there in one article, even one book is not enough, I guess. So the best way to try his art is just to go and try it by yourself. The tickets cost within 20 dollars, basically the price for hours of entertainment, art and wonderland is the same as for one Burton’s movie screened at the cinemas. Moreover, the exhibition will be held till the 10th October, 2010 so you have time.
Do you still doubt whether to go or not? Well, if you appreciate creative mind, you will definitely appreciate this exhibition.
Finally, I want to ask a question: “What would you give to have a cup of coffee with Tim Burton?”