Tim Burton’s Point-of-View

Tim Burton’s show at the MoMA revealed to me that he’s a man with an obsessive vision. From Tim’s point-of-view, every day is just a little bit darker and wackier than you or I see it. Early sketches and writings from Tim’s grade school years reveal that this was his outlook even then. A vivid description of a trip to the doctor’s office scrawled on lined notebook paper, reveals a very imaginative and detailed description of the doctor, a middle-aged man making an conscious effort to stand up straight, haunting around a very clinical room which creeks beneath the sighs of our young patient.

You can almost imagine Tim himself in this sketch of the tiny child visiting presumably the psychiatrist.

In this series, the land monster falls in love with the sea monster and of course in the end they both perish, Romeo and Juliet style.

Little characters and clever stories emerge everywhere within Burton’s work. A sketch just isn’t a sketch to him. Notations of how the person in the sketch moves and thinks are often included.

One of my favorite images in the show is a sketch called, “the handy gardener.” The gardener replaces her hands with various tools such as pruning shears, a trowel, or hose. Unfortunately I could not find an image for this online, but like this image above, it was clearly an early study for Edward Scissorhands.

In the end I was very impressed with the show at the MOMA. It showcased a man who is incredibily prolific in his films, sketches, and visions. Apparently Burton’s world simply is black and white striped with dark stitching.

Run don’t walk to see this exhibit, now through April 26th.