Surviving the Dead Man’s Ball / Tim Burton’s Final Hours

October 31, 2011

Our annual Muse Costume Ball is always one of the highlights of the year at LACMA, but this year’s was truly something to behold. 1,200 costume-clad characters overtook the museum for a night of Tim Burton-inspired revelry. Below, just a few of the highlights. Check out KROQ’s photo album for many more, or this Facebook album from Snap Yourself!.

And though the party technically ended around midnight on Saturday, all the Tim Burton closing festivities have kept the Halloween spirit alive (or perhaps undead is more apt) all weekend. The doors to Tim Burton have been open nonstop since 10 am yesterday and will remain open until midnight tonight. We are blown away by everyone who has filled the galleries in the wee hours of the night, and we apologize to all the teachers and bosses out there who now have to deal with their bleary-eyed students and employees.

Tickets for the remaining hours of the exhibition’s run are nearly gone. There will be a limited number of tickets sold on site only (read: no more online ticketing), but it is first come, first served, and demand is high. A big thank you to everyone who has come to see the exhibition since it opened in May–it’s been a wild ride.

Best Tim Burton-inspired costume: Sara Fox's Pin-Cushion Queen

Best Movie Monster Costume: Geoffrey Garth's Frankenstein (photo: Micah Cordy)

Most Creative Costume: Duncan Thum's Woolly Mammoth

My personal favorite of the night... Marie Antoinette with a boat on her head. (Of course!) (Photo: Alex Capriotti)

I don't know exactly what this is, but it's intimidating!

I thought you weren't supposed to mix prescription drugs with alcohol?

Saw these guys in my neighborhood just the other day...

There were many fantastic Tim Burton-inspired costumes...

...not kidding. There were a lot.

Happy Halloween!

Scott Tennent

Tim Burton’s Contagious Creativity

October 10, 2011

Looking back on the past four months of my Tim Burton experience, it seems as though my fellow gift shop employees and I have seen and heard just about everything. The sheer number of people we encounter on a daily basis can be overwhelming, but fortunately at night, as we close the store, we are able to slow down and reflect. This is the time of day that the public doesn’t experience—when all the chatter has dissipated and the Sleepy Hollow scarecrow looms large in our direction, the only sound being the spooky melody emanating from the diorama of Stain Boy’s suburban home (a tune eerily similar to that of an ice cream truck, which has haunted my dreams now for months. Tim Burton speaks of his fear of clowns. One man’s clown is another man’s ice cream man. Thank you, Danny Elfman).

After speaking to literally thousands of people who have just experienced the Tim Burton exhibition—which closes at the end of this month—I have realized that it is really no coincidence that so many people purchase colored and graphite pencils from the shop (among lots of other items) before they leave.  In fact, the conclusion I’ve drawn (no pun intended) is that it is not so much about the art as it is about the process. Pure creativity is contagious, and this exhibition is like the plague. After viewing it, one immediately wants to return home to draw, to create.

I think part of what makes this show exciting to young artists in this city is that it all seems so, well, immediate—in both time and space. It doesn’t take too much imagination for these kids to see themselves in Tim Burton’s sneakers one day. He was born in the same century as a lot of our NexGen members (free kid’s membership—check it out!), and he grew up right over the hill.  LACMA and Burbank are close enough to see and breathe in the same smog.

In other words, it isn’t impossible for a teenage girl visiting the show today to imagine her own retrospective on the walls of LACMA in forty years: The Childhood Sketches and Doodles of the Great Holographic Filmmaker Tammy Batman, coming in 2051. Needless to say, most of Tammy’s films will also feature Johnny Depp, who, by then, will be enjoying a golden-age career resurgence à la Betty White.

Future filmmaker “Tammy Batman” (aka Hannah, L.A. native and NexGen member) gets inspired by Tim Burton.

Living in modern-day suburban Los Angeles, these young artists might not see themselves as the next Renoir, or Caravaggio, or Matisse. But what they can envision is being in their bedroom late at night and drawing for fun and imagining that one day they might translate having fun into making a living.

Although a career as a popular artist might not seem so unattainable while strolling through the exhibition, getting to that point requires work, and it’s evident from the show that a creative life is as much about the journey as it is about the end result. An artist’s personal outlet as a child connects with millions down the line because of years of diligence, hard work, and practice, practice, practice. In Tim Burton we see someone who really engaged in what he loved and made a very successful living out of it.

The show reminds us that process is the key. Tim Burton’s early sketches and drawings and models show us that the process can also be art. It’s called a work of art because it’s work. And when it connects with others, it’s magic.

Matt Liberman, Sales Associate


More Burton-Inspired Pics from the Public

August 1, 2011

Attendance to our Tim Burton exhibition is going strong two months into its five month run. One of the best things about the exhibition is how our visitors continue to interact with it online. We invited visitors to post their own Burton-esque images to our flickr group to see things that seem to have taken inspiration from Burton’s aesthetic. We love to see this multimedia feed grow with an assortment of beautiful, mysterious, playful, gothic, colorful, and dark images.

Steel branches from alexcap1101

Steel branches

Check out the Flickr group here.

sonicshadowlover13 submitted this image of her Jack Skellington-inspired outfit, complete with skeleton gloves and choker.

shaunsaumell submitted several images of a beautiful, surreal landscape that look right out of The Nightmare Before Christmas.

tagletwitch created an amazing sculpture  from what looks like recycled wires.

Some contributors have drawn their own dark, Burton-esque creatures like taylorwchristensen’s Stick Boy and Match Girl and mouse25’s My Pretty.

Scroll through all of the submissions for more sketches, costumes, house decor, hairstyles, tattoos, and some inspiration from nature.

Submit your Burton-esque images here.

Alex Capriotti

Burton-inspired pics from the public

May 18, 2011

In anticipation of Tim Burton, opening May 29th, we invited the public to show us their “Burton-esque” photos. We have 97 so far. This one comes from our own Erin Sorensen:

A Burton-inspired vision by Erin Sorensen.

Check out the Flickr group here.

garydeo333 submitted this image of Edward Scissorhands, with other Burton characters on the tip of his left hand. “My tribute to the films of Tim Burton,” he says.

ammcnelis submitted several pics of the ultimate Tim Burton (wedding?) cake.

sally’smom1 submitted some pretty cute pics of someone small in dressed as (who else?) Sally, from Nightmare Before Christmas.

Miki has some gorgeous contributions including a photo of a sculpture of Jack Skellington carved from foam.

Some contributors looked at nature through a Burton-inspired lens – like this image of a woodpecker, camouflaged against a tree.

There’s more: tattoos, high school fashions, haircuts, gardens, and…a selection of things from under the sea.

Submit your Burton-esque images here.

Amy Heibel

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