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The light behind the dark - A book about Tim Burton

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Criação do projeto de design editorial para um livro atrativo visualmente, com estética e direção de arte bem trabalhadas, que aborda a vida e a obra do cineasta Tim Burton. (Enfoque no trabalho da estética do produto e não de seu conteúdo literário.)

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The light behind the dark - A book about Tim Burton

  1. 1. Fabielle Ferreira Pedroso and Vitoria Pichinin Ferrari The Light Behind The Dark A book about Tim Burton TASCHEN
  2. 2. The Light Behind The Dark A book about Tim Burton
  3. 3. Text copyright © by Fabielle Ferreira Pedroso and Vitoria Pichinin Ferrari. Illustrations by Fabielle Ferreira Pedroso and Vitoria Pichinin Ferrari. TIM BURTON and all related people and elements are ™ of and © TASCHEN. TITULO Publishing Rights © Fabielle Ferreira Pedroso and Vitoria Pichinin Ferrari. All rights reserved. Published by Taschen, an imprint of Taschen, Publishers since 2016. TASCHEN logo is registered trademarks of Taschen. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means s, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, wwithout written permission of the publisher. For information regarding permission, write to Taschen, Attention: Permissions Department, Broadway, New York, NY. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Pedroso, F. F., Ferrari, V. P. Titulo / by Fabielle Ferreira Pedroso and Vitoria Pichinin Ferrari / p. cm. Summary: The history of one of the most known art directors of the movie industries. ISBN-10: 0-590-35340-3 I. Title. PZ7.R79835Har 2016 [Bio] — dc21 97-39059 84 83 82 81 80 79 78 77 76 75 09 10 11 12 13 Printed in Brazil. First Brazilian edition, May 2016 TASCHEN The Light Behind The Dark A book about Tim Burton By Fabielle Ferreira Pedroso and Vitoria Pichinin Ferrari Ilustrations by Fabielle Ferreira Pedroso and Vitoria Pichinin Ferrari AN IMPRINT OF TASCHEN
  4. 4. From Poe to Walt Content The beginig of the history WeirdA caracteristic style of production is created
  5. 5. Born on August 25, 1958, Timothy William Burton is an American filmmaker who thought domestic life and the difficult school, participating in a group called OW SHIT STUDIOS (OSS) and everyday reality of fleeing reading gloomy books of Edgar Allan Poe and watching low-budget horror movies. This influenced so that today builds a filmography different for filmic Hollywood standards. He began his career working for Disney as an animator, but was dismissed due to the mismatch of funeral narratives with the business model. Burton opts for a greater inner expressiveness, creating a characteristic aura, with stylistic and thematic elements that reference the German Expressionism and feature filmmaker to reach a privileged position in the North American commercial cinema. His eccentricity in creating ludic universes inhabited by strange characters. Moreover, much of his filmography is made up of fantastic and unreal standards, in which the environments of his films revisit Expressionist buildings, exaggerating the tone and using the opposition between light and dark, stylizing situations in most sometimes refer to human fears assisting in a better narrative immersion. About This Book
  6. 6. CHAPTER ONE From PoeTo Walt The begining of the story
  7. 7. Fabielle F. P. and Vitoria P. F.FROM POE TO WALT 12 13 Tim Burton was born in 1958, in the city of Burbank, California, to Jean Bur- ton (née Erickson), the owner of a cat- themed gift shop, and Bill Burton, a for- mer minor league baseball player who would later work for the Burbank Park and Recreation Department. As a pre- teen, Burton would make short films in his backyard on Evergreen Street using crude stop motion animation techniques or shoot them on 8 mm film without sound (one of his oldest known juvenile films is The Island of Doctor Agor, that he made when he was 13 years old). Burton studied at Burbank High School, but he was not a particularly good student. He was a very introspective person, and found his pleasure in paint- ing, drawing and watching films. His future work would be heavily influenced by the works of such childhood heroes as Dr. Seuss and Roald Dahl. After grad- uating from Burbank High School with Jeff Riekenberg, Burton attended the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. To study character animation. As a student at CalArts, Burton made the shorts Stalk of the Celery Monster and King and Octopus. His introspective roots shaped his childhood in an unusual way, making it a lonely child whose refuge was found in the world of imagination. This tendency to isolation caused litera- ture, television and film to become your best and leading companies. Through these vehicles, quickly found and identified with Gothic fantasy, the genre of
  8. 8. FROM POE TO WALT 14 horror, fairy tales and monster movies. The “monsters” and other characters incompatible with the considered normal society, often were your heroes, your best friends. The appreciation of Burton by fairy tales (cf. MURACA, 2013) can be explained by the logic of the fantastic element that is introduced in a boring society to deconstruct it, reflecting exactly the same sense of discrepancy that had been present in his childhood. Always disappointed with the mechanized aspects of the suburb and the re- petitive purposes that guided people, Burton eventually develop an inability to communicate that would model not only your personality, but also the aesthet- ics of his films. Burton can, for example, explain the key aspects desired in his films to those responsible for producing the same. This lack of emotion in daily routines was therefore one of the factors responsible for the development of its intense and hyperactive imaginative capacity. His gloomy reverie introduced the stressful everyday reality a large dose of fantasy, transporting it to other dimensions and providing reflections on life and death different from those proposed by common sense. At the same time, Burton also dedicated to improving its ability to design, skill that could solve much of their sociable problems, since the communication made possible without the intermediary of words. Through his sketches and totally peculiar traits, Burton can, for example, explain the key aspects desired in his films to those responsible for producing the same. Thus, the director conveys his ideas with high level of detail, ensuring the maintenance of his personality in all his works. The obstacle imposed by verbal communication is bypassed, therefore, through its ability to use the image to convey ideas. The burtonesco style is therefore defined by a fascination with the monstrous, as well as internal conflicts of the characters that are inserted in a context of isolation and inability to adapt. Tim Burton working on the animation “Vincent“, 1981.
  9. 9. Fabielle F. P. and Vitoria P. F.FROM POE TO WALT 16 17 These characteristics reveal another extremely strong influence in the filmog- raphy of Tim Burton: German Expressionism. historically contextualizing to- wards a greater understanding of the expressionist aesthetics: in the years that follow after the First World War (1914-18), has become a Germany immersed in a highly turbulent atmosphere, experiencing a serious economic and social crisis and trying to reorganize after the collapse of the imperialist dream. In the midst of social and political crises of the period, the film finds fertile ground. The German Expressionism emerged as a reflection of German spirit in the bloody situation and devastating force, breaking patterns and proposing innovations in art making. The anxiety experienced by the German society of the time is aesthetically translated into movies through dark images, bizarre characters that border on the catastrophic and funeral arguments. Among the most common features, there is a strong contrast between light and dark, the geometrization of form, loaded makeups extolling pale skin and accentuate dark circles, dark costumes, as well as an intense projection of shadows that guarantees the macabre atmosphere. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari - Germany - 1920), Robert Wiene, and Nosfer- atu (Nosferatu, Eine Symphonie des Grauens - Germany - 1922), FW Mur- nau, are the two main films framed in the aesthetics in question. Describe the formal characteristics of Ger- manExpressionismisalmost likeanalyzingBurtonmovies,sostrongisthe influence exerted. Both the visuals as the employed motivations go in accordance with the work of filmmaker and cinematic style on the agenda. Both deal with the ambiguities and fears intrin- sic to human beings; the scenery, cos- tumes and lighting re- flect states of mind and universe of characters - often on the margins of society. As a preteen, Burton would make short films in his backyard on Evergreen Street using crude stop motion animation techniques or shoot them on 8 mm film without sound (one of his oldest known juvenile films is The Island of Doctor Agor, that he made when he was 13 years old). Burton studied at Burbank High School, but he was not a particularly good student. He was a very introspective person, and found his pleasure in paint- ing, drawing and watching films. His future work would be heavily influenced by the works of such childhood heroes as Dr. Seuss and Roald Dahl. After grad- uating from Burbank High School with Jeff Riekenberg, Burton attended the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California, to study character an- imation. As a student at CalArts, Burton made the shorts Stalk of the Celery Monster and King and Octopus. His introspective roots shaped his childhood in an unusual way, making it a lonely child whose refuge was found in the world of imagination. This tenden- cy to isolation caused literature, television and film to become your best and leading companies. Through these vehicles, quickly found and identified with Gothic fantasy, the genre of horror, fairy tales and monster movies. The “mon- sters” and other characters incompatible with the considered normal society, often were your heroes, your best friends. The appreciation of Burton by fairy tales (cf. MURACA, 2013) can be explained by the logic of the fantastic element that is introduced in a boring society todeconstruct it, reflecting exactly the same sense of discrepancy that had been present in his childhood, always disappoint- ed with the mechanized aspects.
  10. 10. Fabielle F. P. and Vitoria P. F. 19 Tim Burton directing the actors in ‘Batman’ & Joker, 1989. Of the suburb and the repetitive purposes that guided people, Burton even- tually develop an inability to communicate that would model not only your personality, but also the aesthetics of his films. This lack of emotion in daily routines was therefore one of the factors responsible for the development of its intense and hyperactive imaginative capacity. His gloomy reverie introduced the stressful everyday reality a large dose of fantasy, transporting it to other di- mensions and providing reflections on life and death different from those pro- posed by common sense. At the same time, Burton also dedicated to improv- ing its ability to design, skill that could solve much of their sociable problems, since the communication made possible without the intermediary of words. At the same time. Through his sketches and totally peculiar traits, Burton can, for example, explain the key aspects desired in his films to those responsible for producing the same. Thus, the director conveys his ideas with high level of detail, ensuring the maintenance of his personality in all his works. The obstacle imposed by verbal communication is bypassed, therefore, through its ability to use the image to convey ideas. At the same time, The burtonesco style is therefore defined by a fascination with the monstrous, as well as internal conflicts of the characters that are inserted in a context of isolation and inability to adapt. At the same time, The director conveys his ideas with high level of de- tail These characteristics reveal another extremely strong influ- enceinthefilmographyofTimBurton:GermanExpressionism. historically contextualizing towards a greater understanding of the expressionist aesthetics: in the years that follow after the First World War.
  11. 11. Fabielle F. P. and Vitoria P. F.FROM POE TO WALT 20 21 thefilm find s fertile ground. The German Expressionism em ergedasareflec- tionofG erm an spirit in the bloody situatio n anddevas- (1914-18),hasbecom ea G erm any immersed in a highly turbulent atmosphere, experiencing a serioussocialcrisis tating force, breaking patte rnsand andtryingtoreorganize after the dream. In the midst of social and politic alcrisesoftheperiod, tyexperiencedb y the German society of the tim e i saesthetically translatedintom ovi es through dark images, bizarre characte rsthatborderon trastbetweenlightanddark,the geom etrization of form, loaded makeups extolling pale skin and accentuatedarkcircles, proposingin novations in art making. Theanxie- thecatastrophicandfuner al arguments among the most common features, t hereisastrongcon- cinematicstyleontheagenda. Both deal with the ambiguities and fears intrinsic to human beings; the sc enery,costumesandlighting reflect. enceexerted.Boththevis uals as the employed motivations go in accordance with the w orkoffilmmakerand feratu,Eine Sym phonie des Grauens - Germ a ny -1922),FW darkcostumes,aswellas an intense projection of shadows that guarantees the m aca breatm osphere.TheCabinetof Murnau, are the two main fil m sframedin Dr.Caligari(TheCabi net of Dr. Caligari - Germany - 1920), Robert W iene,andNosferatu(Nos- theaesthetics in question. Describe the formal chara cteristics ofGermanExpressio nism is almost like analyzing Burton movies, so s trongistheinflu-
  12. 12. Fabielle F. P. and Vitoria P. F. 23 FROM POE TO WALT Stop motion animation techniques or shoot them on 8 mm film without sound (one of his oldest known juvenile films is The Is- land of Doctor Agor, that he made when he was 13 years old). Burton studied at Burbank High School, but he was not a particularly good student. He was a very introspective person, and found his pleasure in paint- ing, drawing and watching films. His future work would be heavily influenced by the works of such childhood heroes as Dr. Seuss and Roald Dahl. After graduating from Burbank High School with Jeff Riekenberg, Bur- ton attended the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California, to study character animation. As a student at Ca- lArts, Burton made the shorts Stalk of the Celery Monster and King. His introspective roots shaped his childhood in an unu- sual way, making it a lonely child whose ref- uge was found in the world of imagination. This tendency to iso- lation caused literature. Television and film to become your best and leading com- panies. Through these vehicles, quick- ly found and identi- fied with Gothic fantasy, the genre of horror, fairy tales and monster movies. The “monsters” and other charac- ters incompatible with the consid- ered normal society, often were your heroes, your best friends. The appreciation of Burton by fairy tales (cf. MURACA, 2013) can be explained by the logic of the fantastic element that is introduced in a boring society to deconstruct it, reflecting exactly the same sense of discrepancy that had been present in his childhood. Always disappointed with the mechanized aspects of the suburb and the repetitive purposes that guided people, Burton eventually develop an inability to communicate that would model not only your personal- ity, but also the aesthetics of his films.
  13. 13. “It’s good as an artist to always remember to see things in a new, weird way.” - Tim Burton
  14. 14. CHAPTER TWO Weird A caracteristic style of production is created
  15. 15. Fabielle F. P. and Vitoria P. F. 28 29 Tim Burton was born in Burbank, California, in 1958 and attended Burbank High School. After studying at the Cali- fornia Institute of the Arts (CalArts), he worked as an animator at the Walt Disney Studios before breaking out on his own. Taking inspiration from popular culture, fairy tales, and gothic traditions, Burton has reinvented Hollywood genre filmmaking as an expression of a per- sonal and social vision. The Tim Burton exhibition explores the full range of Burton’s creative work as a film director, artist, illustrator, photographer, and writer. The major retro- spective highlights the artist’s rich imagination, lifelong dedication to drawing, lineage of horror and humor, and commitment to collaboration. It brings to- gether more than 700 drawings, paintings, photographs, movingimage works, storyboards, puppets, concept artworks, maquettes, costumes, and cinematic ephemera, including art from a number of unrealized and little-known per- sonal projects. Organized chronologically, the exhibition features three sections: Surviving Burbank, Beautifying Burbank, and Beyond Burbank. While only a portion of the works on view can be featured in this curriculum, these materials highlight key concepts in the artist’s body of work as well as address the larger implica- tions of what it means to be an artist today. In what ways is Burton’s process similar to or different from other contem- porary artists? How does Burton use sketching as a tool to cultivate creativity? How does sketching translate into other disciplines? How can we integrate this idea of process into our own classroom practices? And, how can we, like Bur- ton, work collaboratively to produce imaginative work? “When I was growing up in Burbank, the environment was very middle-class suburban, And I felt like an alien,” says Tim Burton. He sur- vived this feeling of alienation on the strength of his imagination. He consoled himself with the pleasures of drawing and humor and an interest in visual media that he indulged through colorful forms of popular entertainment: newspaper comics, advertising, greeting cards, children’s literature, toys, animated cartoons, monster movies, science fiction films, carnival sideshows, performance art, and holi- day rituals of the Dead.
  16. 16. Fabielle F. P. and Vitoria P. F.WEIRD 30 31 Burton was heavily influenced by popular culture and has used his childhood in Burbank as a resource for the subjects and themes that he has explored in feature films, shorts, and commercials since 1982. From childhood to the present, Burton has expressed himself through drawing. At a young age, he had a teacher who didn’t force him to draw a certain way, but rather encouraged students to draw in their own style and approach drawing as a means to explore their fantasy life and emotional core. Burton says, “I was not a very verbal commu- nicator growing up, so it was a form of communication for me.” For Burton, sketching is an activity concurrent with seeing and think- ing —the conduit of imagination and an important part of his thought process. His notes and sketches are a way to think through ideas or projects. • How is sketching similar to the writing process of draft- ing and editing? How can we encourage our students to use the tools of artists—sketching, revising, editing—as a means to think through concepts, develop and refine ideas? Burton’s tal- ent matured during two years of study at the California Insti- tute of the Arts (CalArts) and four years working as an animator at the Walt Disney Company. A number of his signature motifs and stylistic traits emerged during this period, such as his creature-based characters, his use of masks and body modification, and his exploration of the relationship between childhood and adulthood. Many of Burton’s recurring themes stem from childhood and ado- lescence and combine a unique mix of horror and humor. The vast majority of the hundreds of artworks in the exhibition are drawings, from sketches and doodles to character studies. Even in the earliest of these, Burton’s key themes and storylines are evident: creatures transforming from one thing into another, quirky children attempting to make sense of equally odd adults, skeletons mingling with humans. Burton has expressed himself through drawing. Many of the great printmakers in art history have also explored these same motives. Long before film emerged as the leading mass-culture medi- um, printmaking was a primary and democratic means of disseminating ide- as widely. Burton’s emphasis on exaggeration, dis- tortion, and fantasy parallel the work of many artists throughout history, particu- larly that of the German Expressionists. View the enclosed CD to see an diosyncrat- ic array of graphic works chosen by Tim Burton in consultation with the museum’s curatorial staff. Com- pare and contrast these with works by Burton and with his completed films. Burton’s career blossomed through his work in feature films. Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985), Bee- tlejuice (1988), Batman (1989), and Edward Scissorhands (1990) made him a brand name before his sixth feature, Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), was released. In this phase of his creative life, rewarding professional collaborations helped bring his personal vision to the screen. Burton often works with the same creative team. Frequent collaborators include film composer Danny Elfman, costume designer Colleen Atwood, animation charac- ter creators McKinnon and Saunders and production designer Bo Welch, among others. Think of a project where you worked well with others. What role did you play in the team and what role did others take? How did the different roles interact with each other? What made the project a success? How can you adapt this participatory model for youth and
  17. 17. Fabielle F. P. and Vitoria P. F. 33 Tim Burton (United States, b. 1958), Untitled (Edward Scissorhands), 1990, pen and ink, and pencil on paper, 14¼ x 9 in., Private collection, Edward Scissorhands © Twentieth Century Fox, © 2011 Tim Burton for use in the classroom? Burton’s early experiences shaped his characters and narratives, which often represent the wellmeaning “outsider,” the misunder- stood, the lonely, and the rejected—all reflections of his childhood experiences. “Those feelings never really leave you,” says Burton, “It’s just part of your DNA. I always felt like Frankenstein and my neighbors were all the angry villagers.” 3 To combat the alienation and loneliness that he felt as a child, Burton found joy and solace at the Cornell Theater in Burbank, where he watched old monster movies starring Vincent Price and Christopher Lee. He also occupied his time by watching TV, drawing, and playing in the local cemetery. Burton’s misfit character is fully embodied in Edward Scissorhands, the lead character in the 1990 film of the same name. Like his other early films, notably Beetlejuice and Batman, Edward Scissorhands is a “dark story of conflict be- tween good and evil emerging from a swamp of adolescent suburban conform- ity.” 4 Scissorhands (see the pen and ink drawing above) personifies the themes that recur and reverberate throughout much of the artist’s works: the isolation of feeling disconnected from the world at large and the search for true identity. Storyboard it!Consider your own life and how your experiences have defined your character. If you were to write a story about yourself, what are the impor- tant memories or events that you would include? Why? Make a list of some ideas. Create a visual autobiography using a storyboard, a template or guide that comic book artists and others use for brainstorming. Di- vide your story into four parts and sketch four different drawings accompanied by written captions. What are the beginning, middle, and end? How will you transition from one scene to the next? Finally, add color to bring the story to life. Like Edward Scissorhands, Stain Boy, a biohazard superhero, was initially con- ceived and inspired from a sketch drawn by the artist. Burton first introduced Stain Boy in The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories (1997), a
  18. 18. WEIRD 34 book combining the artist’s drawings and prose. Even in these short stories, the enduring motif of the outsider and the misunderstood are present. In 2000, Stain Boy became the subject of a six-part online animation series (view it at www.tim burton collective.com/multimedia.html.) In each episode, Stain Boy works for the Burbank police to investigate and apprehend “social outcasts,” char- acters who exist in the other poems and stories of Burton’s book. Robot Boy, an an- imatronic sculpture designed especially for the 2009 exhibition at the Museum of ModernArtandfabricatedatCaliforniaStateUniversityFullerton,isalsobasedona characterinTheMelancholyDeathofOysterBoyandOtherStories. Look for the Shapes—Burton repeats certain shapes and symbols to commu- nicate his character’s emotions. For example, the faces of his troubled heroes and heroines are often geometric shapes. The eyes, faces, and bodies of many characters are composed of circular or organic shapes. Burton often uses cir- cles to suggest unhappiness. Do Stain Boy and Robot Boy seem round and sad? Describe their features. Create your own characters using only geometric or organic shapes to create different moods or personalities. Scissorhands, Stain Boy, and Robot Boy, like many of Burton’s characters, force viewers to consider how people deal with difference in society. Do you learn to accept it? Burton’s message in much of his work is: stay true to yourself. His characters do this through creativity. Unfailingly, his heroes/protagonists use their im- agination and/or imaginative activity as a response to feelings of disconnec- tion and isolation. Creative Solutions—Think of a time when you felt different or at odds with friends, family members, or at school. What contributed to the way you felt? How do you think others perceived the situation? How did you or could you creatively resolve the problem? How would you solve the problem differently today? Burton believes there is a fundamental link Between horror and humor, born from his fascination with monster movies. “Ever since I was Tim Burton (United States, b. 1958), Untitled (The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories), 1998, pen and ink and water- color on paper, 11 x 14 in., Private collection, © 2011 Tim Burton
  19. 19. Fabielle F. P. and Vitoria P. F.WEIRD 36 37 three years old, I can remember I loved monster movies and dark, expression- ist kinds of things. Being a fairly quiet sort of nonverbal child, you look inward to explore your feelings and communicate through drawings.” While growing up in Burbank, movies—not museums —were his preferred source of visual culture. Nonetheless, through his love of drawing and his preferred motifs, he finds common ground with artists from many other times and places. In his allegiance to draftsmanship, Burton is part of a distinguished tradition. Since the early Renaissance, drawings have been considered to be especially revealing of the artist’s individual genius and style. Prints, by extension, can distill the hand-drawn line to its essence and reproduce it for mass distribution. Wit and Words—Look carefully at the etching (a type of print) made by Span- ish painter and printmaker Francisco de Goya on the following page. What do you see? Make a list of all of the details that capture your attention. What do you think might be happening? In this self-portrait, Goya imagines himself asleep amid his drawing tools with owls, bats, and other creatures surrounding him. This work, satirically titled The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (writ- ten in French in the lower left), is part of a series of etchings published by Goya. What do you think this phrase might mean? Does knowing the title change or alter your impression? What artistic choices did Goya make to create a dream- like atmosphere? Does the interplay of words and image add to the sense of hor- ror and humor? If you could retitle the etching, what would you name it? Certain periods of art history resonate especially strongly with Burton’s vision. Mannerist artists of the mid-sixteenth century reacted against the tradition and orderly grace of the Renaissance with exaggerated, stylized figural con- coctions. At the turn of the twentieth century, Symbolists created hallucina- tory worlds filled with outsized eyeballs and insects. (See Odilon Redon’s print at left.) Look for the Shapes—Burton repeats certain shapes and symbols to communicate his character’s emotions. For example, the faces of his troubled heroes and heroines are often geometric shapes. The eyes, faces, and bodies of many characters are composed of circular or organic shapes. Burton often uses circles to suggest unhappiness. Do Stain Boy and Robot Boy seem round and sad? Describe their features. Create your own characters using only geomet- ric or organic shapes to create different moods or personalities. Scissorhands, Stain Boy, and Robot Boy, like many of Burton’s characters, force viewers to consider how people deal with difference in society. Do you learn to accept it? Embrace it? Burton’s message in much of his work is: stay true to yourself. His characters do this through creativity. Unfailingly, his heroes/protagonists use their imagination and/or imaginative activity as a response to feelings of dis- connection and isolation. Wit and Words—Look carefully at the etching (a type of print) made by Span- ish painter and printmaker Francisco de Goya on the following page. What do you see? Make a list of all of the details that capture your attention. What do you think might be happening? In this self-portrait, Goya imagines himself asleep amid his drawing tools with owls, bats, and other creatures surrounding him. This work, satirically titled The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (writ- ten in French in the lower left), is part of a series of etchings published by Goya. Creative Solutions—Think of a time when you felt different or at odds with friends, family members, or at school. What contributed to the way you felt? How do you think others perceived the situation? How did you or could you creatively resolve the problem? How would you solve the problem differently today? Burton believes there is a fundamental link Between horror and humor, born from his fascination with monster movies. “Ever since I was three years
  20. 20. WEIRD 38 old, I can remember I loved monster movies and dark, expressionist kinds of things. You look inward to explore your feelings and communicate through drawings.” Japanese art has traditionally featured ghosts and demons to rep- resent irrationality, while in Mexican culture the skeleton has both spiritual and political significance. Macabre & Mood—Discuss the mood suggested in French artist Odilon Redon’s lithograph (a type of print). Consider the artist’s use of such elements as line, shape, color, or value (a color’s lightness or dark- ness). Redon was known for transforming the natural world into dark visions and strange fantasies. Throughout his life, poetry and prose exerted a powerful influence on his im- agination and functioned as inspiration for a number of paintings, drawings, and prints. This print was inspired by writer Edgar Alan Poe’s tales of mystery and the macabre. Read a poem by Poe and compare and contrast how Burton andRedonuseartisticdevicestocreateamood.Illustrateapoemofyourchoice, visually capturing its theme and mood. Francisco de Goya (Spain, 1746–1828), Aboveall,GermanExpressionism,whichoriginatedaround1905andwasflour- ishing by the early 1910s, brought intuition and anxiety to the fore. The stark, powerful prints of the Expressionist era seem to presage the haunted interiors and emotive creatures found in Burton’s feature films. Nowhere is this more evident than in the 1919 film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, whichillustratesthemovementofartisticmotifsacrossmedia.Thisstoryabout madmen and murder, directed by Robert Wiene, is notable for its distorted re- ality (see the set photographs above). The two lead actors, Conradt Veidt and Werner Krauss, inhabit a jagged landscape of sharp angles; the tilted walls and windows seem to be closing in on them. There is a strong emphasis on light and dark, of being in a dreamscape or in an alternate reality. The sets were directly painted on flat canvas by important artists, such as Herman Wear, Walter Re- Installation view of Carousel, 2009, Tim Burton, May 29–October 31, 2011, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, © 2011 Tim Burton, Photo © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA
  21. 21. Fabielle F. P. and Vitoria P. F. 41 Installation view, Tim Burton, May 29–October 31, 2011, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Photo © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA imann, and Walter Röhrig. Like many contemporary artists, Burton works with a team to realize his projects and bring his personal vision to the screen. Together with artists, film composers, costume and production designers, animation character creators, and actors, Burton has established a recognizable style and aesthetic that is revered today by an international audi- ence. Burton says, “Every time I do anything, I start with the character.” Burton communicates his characters and vision to his team through sketch- es rather than extensive storyboarding. The Carousel installation in the Tim Burton exhibition is an example of this type of artistic collaboration. The Car- ousel is based on a pastel drawing on black paper that Burton completed as part of an alien series in 1983. (The drawing is included in the exhibition.) Burton is driven to create, and likes to make things. He is an incessant sketcher, drawer, and doodler, as the exhibition so amply illustrates. What is unique about this exhibition is the emphasis on the process over the product. Burton has said that he never con- sidered this body of work as art or artwork; it was not really meant to be seen, but rather was simply part of the process when thinking of ideas or working on projects. How does focusing on the process allow us, as viewers, to see Burton’s work in entirely new and different ways? Burton’s work and the exhibition also demonstrate a blurring of boundaries between fine art and popular culture, transcending the traditional categories of film, drawing, photography, sculpture, and writing.
  22. 22. The Light Behind the Dark is the definitive compilation of for- ty years of Tim Burton’s artistry, including film concepts and hundreds of illustrations from his personal ar- chives, edited under the creative guidance of Burton himself. This book is grouped into thirteen chap- ters that examine common themes in Burton’s work, from his fascination with clowns to his passion for misunderstood monsters, to his delight in the oddities of people. Many of Burton’s friends and collaborators offer their thoughts, insights and anecdotes about Tim Burton’s style and artistic approach to life. Artwork from the fol- lowing films and projects are included in this book: Vincent (1982), Franken- weenie (1984), Batman (1989), Batman Returns (1992), Edward Scissorhands (1990), Corpse Bride (2005) and others. TASCHEN

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