A monstrous new exhibit comes to terrorize LACMA.
Del Toro’s legendary LA residence-meets-museum, Bleak House.
What lurks behind LACMA’s latest Hollywood-inspired exhibition, Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters, is guts, glory... and gore. The first-ever retrospective for the 51-year-old filmmaker, known for blockbusters such as Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth, and Pacific Rim, is the latest in the museum’s wildly popular coverage of major auteurs (Tim Burton, Stanley Kubrick) in an attempt to appeal more widely to the general public. “We [distinguish] film as a key art form of the 20th and 21st centuries, while recognizing the challenge of representing it in a museum space,” says exhibition curator Britt Salvesen.
At LACMA, Salvesen brings the imaginative world of the Mexican-born filmmaker to life through his personal collections of drawings, artifacts, paintings, photographs, maquettes, and nearly 500 other items from which he draws inspiration, including the works of other artists. “It’s an encyclopedic, idiosyncratic, thematic show—not a traditional filmography or technical history,” Salvesen explains. “As a collector, del Toro ignores traditional art-historical narratives and hierarchies of high and low culture, just as he blends and reinvents conventional genres in his films.”
Above all, the retrospective explores del Toro’s love affair with monsters. “We need demons and angels to break down the universe into essential forces. Monsters are patron saints of all our imperfections,” says del Toro. And now—just in time for Halloween season—LACMA makes room for the macabre in LA’s church for “high art.” Thrilling. Through November 27. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., LA, 323-857-6000
Photography by: photography © Josh White/JWpictures.com (Bleak house); alex Vertikoff © 2014 museum associates/lacma (lacma);
© uniVersal studios entertainment (hellboy II film still); © guillermo del toro. courtesy of insight editions (noteBook)