March 30, 2017
Monsters — in many different forms — have fueled my imagination and curiosity for as long as I can remember. As a young child, I loved the worlds created in the fairy tales around me. I got lost in the magical world of Harry Potter as a teenager. And, as an adult, I’m fascinated with psychological thrillers like “Silence of the Lambs” and Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein.” I’m drawn to stories that illustrate the depths of human capacity and challenge preconceived notions of right and wrong (or good versus evil).
So, as you can imagine, I was excited to see Mia bring Guillermo del Toro’s “At Home with Monsters” to Minneapolis. The worlds created by del Toro in his films are fantastical, horrific and unsettling, and he’s garnered a cult following as a result. But what can one expect from an exhibit about a filmmaker that features “monster stuff” and not solely his films? Surprisingly, you can expect to feel many things, but frightened isn’t one of them.
A little bit about the exhibit:
Taking inspiration from Guillermo del Toro’s extraordinary imagination, this unique exhibition reveals his creative process through a collection of paintings, drawings, maquettes, artifacts, and concept film art, all culled from Bleak House, his creative haven and cherished home base located in Los Angeles. Rather than a traditional chronology or filmography, the exhibition is organized thematically, beginning with visions of death and the afterlife; continuing through explorations of magic, occultism, horror, and monsters; and concluding with representations of innocence and redemption.
One step inside the gates of del Toro’s exhibit and you’re immediately swept into the mind and life of the acclaimed director. Each room – and theme – is an intersection of del Toro’s past with the literature, art, folklore and mysticism that inspires him, culminating in a taste of how everything converges in his films.
While I expected to gain a deeper understanding of del Toro’s creative process and imagination, I found myself with stronger desire to explore my own. The exhibit is inspiring. Guillermo del Toro appears to be deeply impacted by the human experience and continuously intrigued by phenomena. And he is someone who does more than just curate or create. He consumes, curates, collects, celebrates and creates.
It’s a wonderful – albeit slightly creepy – reminder that creativity doesn’t come easily and it’s often intertwined in the many curiosities, tragedies and passions that make up each of us.
Following are some of my favorite pieces from the exhibit. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience Bleak House in Minneapolis. The exhibit is at Mia through Sunday, May 28. Find more information and tickets here.