Art November 16, 2009 By Nana Asfour
timburton page2 Tim Burton
Meloncholy Death of Oyster Boy, Tim Burton. Images courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art

timburton title Tim Burton

When Tim Burton, who has been compulsively drawing since the teensy age of five, was in the ninth grade he was granted first prize in a design competition for an anti-littering campaign poster. His art went on public view, whizzing about on the garbage trucks of his hometown of Burbank for the good part of two months. Now, thirty-seven years later, his creations will be displayed at the venerable Museum of Modern Art. The show will include more than 700 drawings, paintings, photographs, storyboards, moving-image works, puppets, maquettes, costumes, and other ephemera from Burton’s childhood to his adult years. Inspired perhaps by last year’s successful Dalí: Painting and Film, the retrospective aims to explore the convergence of film and visual art. Few individuals fit into this mold and the most likely candidate for the next installment is director David Lynch, who, when not working on one of his I-dare-you-to-deconstruct-this-narrative films, can be found in his art studio, attacking a canvas with a dollop of paint. But as a follow-up to Dalí, Burton makes more sense. Whereas Lynch operates in the realm of abstraction, Burton, like Dalí, is a fan of the surreal (in fact he’s considered a Pop Surrealist) and, to boot, both have worked with Disney — though to frustrating results. The cartoon that Dalí began creating for the studio in 1946 was swiftly abandoned and a short segment of it was only re-envisioned from storyboards many years after the artist’s death.  Fresh from an animation degree at the California Institute of Fine Arts, Burton was hired by Disney and remembers his stint there as being as tedious as an assembly line job.

1 2 3 4 5