museo franz mayer 6.12.2017 - 8.4.2018

Tim Burton (American, born 1958)—the filmmaker behind the iconic Beetlejuice (1988), Edward Scissorhands (1990), and Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), and recent hits Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Alice in Wonderland (2010), and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016)—is internationally recognized as a master of the comically grotesque and the heartfelt eccentric.  While Burton is most well-known for his cinematic work, this exhibition displays the full extent of his creative production, revealing a versatile artist whose unique vision transcends mediums and formats.


Burton’s distinctive style is a result of his subjective approach and reflexive methodology.  His free-form creations, imbued with emotion and personal connections, are often an impulse of the subconscious.  Eschewing rigid categorization, his artworks and filmography are marked by dichotomy and amalgamation—the interplay between the seemingly opposing genres of humor and horror; the conflict between childhood and adulthood, as represented by the contrast between imagination and cynicism; and the imagery of the “misunderstood outcast,” perhaps Burton’s most notable theme, and frequently a mixture of man, creature, and machine.


The World of Tim Burton presents drawings, paintings, sculptural installations, puppets, and moving-image works that illuminate Burton’s complete artistic practice—not only from his professional films, but also from his private projects that range from his childhood to today.  Curated in sections that highlight his signature themes and motifs, this exhibition immerses visitors into the artist’s singular world.


All works in this exhibition are from a private collection except where noted. 


This exhibition is organized by Jenny He, Independent Curator, in collaboration with Tim Burton Productions.

Tim Burton, director and artist, is widely regarded as one of cinema’s most imaginative and visual filmmakers.  He has achieved both critical and financial success in the live-action and animation genres.  Burton’s accomplishments in filmmaking are a consequence of his artistic eye.  Long before becoming a director, Burton expressed himself through drawing and painting, which also became an integral part of his creative process.

In 2015, Burton released The Napkin Art of Tim Burton, a book of sketches, doodled on napkins he had collected from his travels.  It is a look in the mind of a man who is always on the road, and ever observant of the strange world around him.  The book is a mini-companion to his 2009 release, The Art of Tim Burton, a 430-page volume comprising more than 40 years of his personal and project artwork.  In November of that year, the Museum of Modern Art opened an extensive exhibition of his work in New York, which went on to tour in Melbourne, Toronto, Los Angeles, Paris, and Seoul.  A new version of his exhibition, The World of Tim Burton, has been presented in Prague, Tokyo, Osaka, Brühl, São Paulo, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and continues to tour internationally.  In 1997, he published the beloved illustrated series of poetry called The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories

Burton’s most recent directorial work, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016), is based on the visually arresting novel of the same name, which winds its story around a collection of vintage photographs.  Its characters and imagery are brought to life in Burton’s unique adaptation. 

Burton’s previous project, Big Eyes (2014), for which Amy Adams received a Golden Globe, is a confluence of his two passions—film and art.

Perhaps his greatest industry achievement is helping to reinvigorate the stop-motion industry, starting with his 1993 creation and cult classic Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas; and followed by the 2005 Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride and 2012’s Frankenweenie, both Academy Award and BAFTA–nominated films.  He has also produced James and the Giant Peach and 9.

 Other film milestones include Alice in Wonderland (2010), which won two Academy Awards, and earned more than a billion dollars at the worldwide box office.  Burton has won a National Board of Review award for his directing work on 2007’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, which also won the Golden Globe for Best Film–Musical or Comedy, and Best Actor–Musical or Comedy for Johnny Depp.

He earlier received a BAFTA nomination for Best Director for the 2003 fantasy drama Big Fish.  His most critically acclaimed film, the 1994 Ed Wood, won two Oscars, a Golden Globe, and two BAFTA nominations.

Photo credits: Leah Gallo

He has a dedicated following, notably for classic features such as his 1985 directorial debut and unexpected comedic hit, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure; the 1988 wildly inventive Beetlejuice; the action blockbuster Batman (1989); and its 1992 follow-up Batman Returns.

Arguably his most beloved film is the 1990 romantic fantasy Edward Scissorhands—directed, co-written and produced by Burton.  The film also marked the start of his successful cinematic partnership with Johnny Depp, who delivered a poignant performance in the title role.

Other directorial projects include Dark Shadows (2012), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Planet of the Apes (2001), Sleepy Hollow (1999), and Mars Attacks! (1996).

He has produced several other films including Alice Through the Looking Glass, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Cabin Boy, Batman Forever, and directed two music videos for The Killers.

Burton grew up in Burbank, California and attended the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), where he studied character animation, before joining the animation department at Disney.  While at the studio, he directed the 1982 stop-motion animated short film Vincent, narrated by Vincent Price.  He also directed the 1983 kung fu–inspired short film adaptation of Hansel and Gretel, and the 1984 live-action short film Frankenweenie.

tienda segundo piso del claustro - jardin central
Museo Franz Mayer, Avenida Hidalgo 45,
Guerrero 06300 Cuauhtémoc, CDMX, México
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