Tim Burton unveils his macabre artwork at MoMA


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Filmmaker Tim Burton, pictured, got the art-world seal of approval last night when he appeared at New York’s Museum of Modern Art to help launch a career retrospective featuring his drawings, paintings, puppets and, of course, his films.

The show of Burton’s works, which runs at MoMA from Nov. 22 to April 26, is one of the most eagerly anticipated exhibitions of the season. Last evening’s gala offered a first look at some of the artwork on display, much of which has never been exhibited in public before. (And yes, we have photos of some of that work.)


Joining the goth auteur at the museum was actress (and mother of his children) Helena Bonham Carter, frequent collaborator Johnny Depp, composer Danny Elfman and actor Danny DeVito. (MoMA breathlessly tweeted their arrivals at the party.)

According to the museum, the show features artwork generated during the conception and production of Burton’s films, as well as pieces from unrealized projects. Also on display are Burton’s student art, his early non-professional films and work for non-film endeavors. (It’s not clear whether the exhibition includes work from Burton’s ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ which opens in 2010.)

Art purists may scoff that the whole exhibition is a publicity ploy unbecoming of a major cultural institution. Whatever your opinion, Burton’s appeal is almost guaranteed to bring in fans who might never before have considered stepping foot inside a museum. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

As for the artwork itself, it is of course dark and weird in the way that only Burton can do dark and weird.

-- David Ng

Photos, from top: Tim Burton poses with some of his artwork at MoMA in New York. Credit: Jemal Countess / Getty Images. An entranceway at MoMA’s Tim Burton retrospective. Credit: Michael Loccisano / Getty Images. All other photos: artwork featured in MoMA’s Tim Burton retrospective. Credit: Jemal Countess / Getty Images