Burton at MoMA on Forbes


My review of the wonderful Tim Burton show at the Museum of Modern Art was published on Forbes.com just before Thanksgiving.

The show could have been a disaster -- there are over 700 pieces of art, sculpture, props, models, storyboards, puppets, posters, and ephemera scattered across three galleries and the lobby of the museum, with the bulk of the pieces housed in the not-so-big Special Exhibitions Gallery on the third floor. But curators Ron Magliozzi and Jenny He have done a fine job organizing Tim Burton in a way that makes narrative sense while retain the funhouse-via-mad-scientist-laboratory vibe of much of Burton's work.

The one downside is that space is really an issue with this show. Free timed tickets are required on weekends and holidays, yet are merely recommended on weekends and only available by ordering them online. If this weren't the holiday season, this arrangement might be OK. But given that tourists descend on New York and its cultural institutions like so many locusts during this time of year, you have to wonder if the timed tickets should have been made mandatory across the board or if the museum should have rethought its exhibition slate and placed Tim Burton in one of its sixth floor exhibition spaces.

It's easy for me to say that's ultimately a small issue -- I saw the show at a press preview -- but once you get inside the exhibit it's quite wonderful, allowing visitors to track Burton's growth as an artist, filmmaker, and storyteller from a unique perspective: inside his head.