Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Burton on "Charlie Rose Show" Thursday

Tim Burton will be on the acclaimed PBS program The Charlie Rose Show tomorrow, Thursday, November 26th, 2009.

From the official Charlie Rose Show website: "Acclaimed interviewer and broadcast journalist Charlie Rose engages America's best thinkers, writers, politicians, athletes, entertainers, business leaders, scientists and other newsmakers in one-on-one interviews and roundtable discussions."

The show airs at 11:00 PM in most U.S. cities:

WNET New York 11 pm / 1:30 pm rebroadcast
WETA Washington DC 11 pm
WHUT Washington DC 11 pm
WGBH Boston 11 pm
KCET Los Angeles 11:30 pm
KQED San Francisco Midnight
WYCC Chicago 11 pm / 5 pm rebroadcast
PBA Atlanta 12:30 am / Noon rebroadcast

MoMA Exhibition Coming to Canada in Nov. 2010

Good news for Tim Burton fans in Canada: Forbes has stated that the Tim Burton MoMA exhibition will be coming to the Bell Lightbox in Toronto, Canada, from November 22nd, 2010 to April 27th, 2011.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

High-Res "Alice" Banner

Here's a nice, official, high-resolution banner composed of the three Alice in Wonderland posters which were recently released.

Colleen Atwood on Burton, "Alice": "It's Going to Be Amazing"

Renowned award-winning costume designer and frequent Burton collaborator Colleen Atwood sat down for an interview with, and discussed how she met Tim Burton, how new technology has affected her method of designing costumes for Alice in Wonderland, what we can expect from Burton's upcoming Alice in Wonderland, and much more:

You’ve worked with Johnny Depp many times now.

I have … Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow … Let’s see … Sweeney Todd, Alice in Wonderland

It must be a treat to design for an actor who can disappear so seamlessly inside his characters.

He really is a chameleon, and he takes on the character in the clothes. They don’t ever look like costumes on him; they look real, and that really helps my job.

Your partnership with Tim Burton — how did the two of you first come together?

I was recommended to him on Edward Scissorhands by a production designer — Bo Welch — who I’d work with prior to that. So I met Tim through him, and we clicked in our own way, and we’ve managed to have a long run together and still enjoy working together. I just went to Tim’s show at MoMA last night, and it was fantastic. Really amazing.

Do you conceive of the costumes together through sketches? I know he frequently begins on paper.

There’s something that he captures that is kind of the soul of the character on paper, and there’s often costume elements, but we’re not married to that at all. I mean, for sure on Edward Scissorhands, because there was so much involved with that, but with the Mad Hatter, with Sweeney, with those costumes, he really doesn’t give me a drawing and say, “This is what I want.” I think it’s because he knows the other people working with him are artists, so he gets very excited and enthusiastic when we show him what we have. He has a wonderful eye himself, and so he’ll a little magical touch to something.

How did the new 3-D technology he used in Alice in Wonderland affect your designs?

I did a lot of the computer animated costumes — I knew what the animated world was going to be, and I knew a bit about 3-D anyway, and so I sort of tried to make stuff that you could play with in 3-D. Stuff that pops in and out. We ended up physically making a lot of the other stuff and it would later end up being animated. It really helped Tim to see things as physical costumes first, and it gave the animators a lot of help as far as depth and texture and things like that. I think what we’re going to see now is the mixture of live and animated people and costumes in an animated world. It’s going to be a really amazing, fun thing for the audience.

I know he wanted to depart with the traditional narrative. How tied were you to the original illustrations, and what were you reference points for designing a new Alice in Wonderland?

It was really freeing, because there’s Lewis Caroll’s own drawings, of which there aren’t very many and they’re quite simple. As Alice went through various eras, there’s classic references for them. Because this is so different from what people are going to expect — Alice isn’t a ten-year-old girl, she’s a young woman — there’s a nod to the classical need for that. But once she goes into Wonderland, we took it to another place. The Hatter has a hat and the recognizable elements, but we explored the world of hat makers in London in the period. So we pulled from that for inspiration more than the previous illustrations, and Johnny used that for his character. They called hatters “mad hatters” because they used these toxic glues and dyes all the time, and they were actually quite mad, a lot of them. So it was quite cool to read about that business in that time, and that they were actually quite in demand and made a quite decent living at that period.

Now when you do something historically accurate and less fanciful than something like Alice in Wonderland, such as Public Enemies, how much research goes into it before you even sketch your first drawing?

In a story like Public Enemies, it’s about people who existed, so you go to that trough, using what few images of them existed. Actually when I do period work, I really like to read about the period as much as I like to look at pictures, because sometimes the written word is much better at conveying what their lives were really like and how much they had, and where their clothes came from. Because a lot of time, people dressed in their Sunday best to pose for a picture. They didn’t take snapshots until much later — there certainly wasn’t much of that going on in the 1930s.

For most of these guys, it was mugshots and prison entrance and exit clothes, but I had a lot of people do online research, and Michael Mann of course had been on the project for a long time and had very deep research and was quite specific. The production designer usually starts a show before I do and they usually have a depth of research. So it’s a combination of all that.

You have some TV credits as well, such as The Tick. Did you design The Tick’s costume?

Yeah. The pilot.

Is it true The Tick’s moving antennae cost $1 million to produce?

Not the ones I did. Maybe later when they did the series they spent more money, but I did the pilot. I remember the amount that costume cost, as a matter of fact, and the budget for that kind of TV pilot is usually much higher. I didn’t have the kind of R&D you get when they decide to really go for it.

What was the most expensive costume you’ve ever made?

I’d say probably the most expensive costumes I’ve ever made were the costumes in The Planet of the Apes, because of the research and development that went into them and the amount of layers. I got the cost per costume down, but because it involved so many processes, with sculpting, and bodysuits, and cool suits, and oversuits, and helmets, and footwear, and handwear, that had to work for action and look like monkeys, that was probably the most expensive per-unit costume ever. The period stuff I spend a lot of time on, I have good textile artists. They’re not cheap, but they’re not out of control expensive either, because you have to make it work.

Speaking of making it work, do you watch Project Runway?

I have watched Project Runway, but I’m not a devout watcher of it. But I think it’s a great show, what I’ve seen of it, and I think Tim Gunn is a very positive, amazing guy.

I ask because they’ll often dismiss something on the show as looking “too costumey,” and I’m wondering if you take offense to that.

No, because I think the street world that it’s in is different. People like to stir up the fashion vs. costume world, and I think what they mean by “too costumey” is that it’s too much, or not real enough for everyday wear. You couldn’t say that about John Galliano’s shows, right? I mean they’re awesome and they’re total costume. It’s just a different thing. They do like to slag off costumes a bit — not on that show, but in the fashion world. I don’t know why they feel they have to compete.

Are you ever tempted to, or maybe you do, design your own clothes?

You know, it’s strange. Like, I’ve designed my Oscar dresses and my people have made them for me, but my own clothes per se that I wear? No — but I do a lot of fitting. Like I’ll buy something and completely recut it. I’m so used to thinking that my clothes are fairly neutral, it’s other people’s clothes I like to design.

Next up you’re working on yet another Johnny Depp film — The Rum Diary. What’s the look you’re going for there?

Well, it’s real. It’s a guy that goes to Puerto Rico in 1960, who’s kind of like an average guy. He shows up with very few clothes. There’s contrasts in the story, between the haves and the have-nots, the Union Carbides vs. the locals, so I pushed that side of the contrast a bit. But it’s very research-oriented and real clothes a lot.

The Making of Tim Burton's MoMA Spot

From MoMA's Inside/Out blog, written by Julia Hoffman:

To help promote MoMA’s Tim Burton retrospective, we asked Burton himself to animate the MoMA logo for a thirty-second video that would be used to promote the exhibition on television, at the Museum, and online. Tim quickly came up with a concept utilizing stop-motion animation, and he asked Allison Abbate, his producer on Corpse Bride (2005) and the upcoming full-length version of Frankenweenie, if she could help pull things together.

Tim Burton's original robot design

Abbate turned to Mackinnon & Saunders, a U.K. firm that designs and builds animation puppets, models, and maquettes and produces TV commercials and entertainment programs for children’s TV, because they had worked on past Burton projects, including Corpse Bride. Company heads Ian Mackinnon and Peter Saunders pick up the story: “For the promo, Tim had designed a cute and quirky little robot character whose job was to inflate four typically Burton-esque balloons spelling out the MoMA logo. The whole premise sounded very simple, until we found out the timescale. We had just three weeks to create the character, the balloons, animate them, and get the footage out to Los Angeles for post production.”

The robot model and storyboards

Mackinnon continues, “Tim was very keen for the whole piece to be rendered in stop motion. For the robot character this wasn’t so much of a problem, Joe Holman, one of our lead sculptor/designers, broke all records to get the character fully sculpted and broken down into his constituent elements, head, body, arms, legs ready for moulding.”

Sculptor/designer Jo Holman renders the Robot in modeling clay

At the same time the problems of creating the illusion of four balloons being inflated in stop motion was being addressed. “The first thing we did was buy some large foil balloons and blow them up just to see what dynamics we were dealing with. We considered creating actual rubber balloons and inflating them with helium and shooting them time lapse but in such a short time if we hadn’t got it right the first time we would miss the deadline,” says Mackinnon. The team also considered replacement animation, a technique whereby each stage of a balloon’s inflation would be rendered as a separate model. “Again time was against us and there was no way we could produce the literally dozens of stages we’d need in time.” adds Saunders, “For all these reasons we decided to go with CG for the balloons and called our friends at Flix Facilities to create a test shot of the 3-D balloons for us.”

Lead CG artist Simon Partington took up the challenge. Within a day he had a beautiful bobbing balloon for us to see. “It was gorgeous,” says Mackinnon. “A bit too gorgeous. It didn’t have that quirky stop-motion feel that Tim was looking for so we asked Simon to try again.” Sculptor/designer Noel Baker quickly produced plastercine sculpts of the balloons and painted them to match Burton’s designs. These were then photographed and shipped over to the Flix team. “We reproduced the shape of Noel’s fantastic sculpts as closely as possible in CG.” explains Partington, “We then took Tim’s actual drawings and textured them onto the balloons before adding some of the same imperfections such as fingerprint detail that Noel had deliberately left on his sculpt. This all helped to recreate the sense of realism that stop motion provides.”

John Whittington maps the Burton design onto the 'M' balloon

Over the course of two days Partington and his team nailed down a technique that not only gave the light, fluffy feel of big rubber balloons but also had the slightly staccato feel of stop motion. The tests were rushed over to Burton, who was deep into post-production on Alice in Wonderland. “There was a huge sigh of relief when Tim gave the thumbs up. In all honesty I don’t know how we’d have got this done in time without the Flix team’s work,” MacKinnon smiles.

The Flix CGI team: Simon Partington, Neil Sanderson, John Whittington, and Mike Whipp

Meanwhile, head puppetmakers Caroline Wallace and Richard Pickersgill completed mold-making and cast out body parts for the robot character in fiberglass, rubber, and silicone, while at the same time constructing the intricate metal skeleton, which fits inside the puppet and enables it to hold any pose during the animation process.

Richard Pickersgill adding the finishing touches to the robot

“Typically a puppet character can take anywhere between twelve to eighteen weeks to produce,” says Pickersgill, “But Tim’s design lent itself to a very economical build and we put the puppet together in just ten days, probably something of a record!”

Pickersgill completed the final paint job a mere twenty-four hours before photography was due to begin. “As he was a bit of a beat-up looking little fellow, I decided to add streaks of rust around joints and arms. We sent pictures off to Tim and the only change he made was to remove the rust—so there was an eleventh hour (literally!) repaint.” Pickersgill chuckles, “I think the paint was possibly still tacky when we put him on the set!”

An arm is released from the mold

With the delivery deadline only four days away, lighting cameraman Martin Kelly and animator Chris Tichborne took over. “Our set was very simple,” says Kelly, “Tim wanted the robot and the balloon against a flat grey background. It was great because it further emulated the look of his original pen-and-ink drawings on a plain sheet of paper. We had three days to shoot the whole piece and my first take had to be right. I’d spent a day the previous week videoing myself performing the robot part. You feel a bit silly but Neil Sutcliffe, who edited the footage into his animatic, was very kind. He didn’t laugh too much!” Even for such a short piece, Tichborne tried to cram in as much in as he could. “Richard and Caroline had included a hinge top to the robot’s head which bobs open and closed as he walks. I also had in my mind Charlie Chaplin when the robot walked—not directly copying him but more just how he would create an idiosyncratic walk.”

DOP Martin Kelly slates a shot

CG lead Simon Partington was on set the whole time doing test composites of the balloons and the animation, just to make sure everything was lining up in terms of lighting and the timing of the dynamics. “The CG and stop-motion animation had to be delivered simultaneously; there would be no time to fix things later so we were literally doing the CG renders and the animation at the same time. Seeing it come together shot by shot was fantastic!”

Although the shoot took three long days over a weekend, the team’s experience and preparation paid off and the shoot went off without a hitch. The precious footage was beamed off via a high-speed data link for Tim Burton to oversee the final post-production in Los Angeles.

Chris Tichborne helps the robot pump it up

“Tim and the folks at MoMA seemed very pleased with the results,” says Ian Mackinnon, “It was a great little project to have been involved with and we hope the audiences at MoMA like it too!”

Final robot on set

Monday, November 23, 2009

TBC News Now on Twitter!

The #1 source for Tim Burton-related news on the World Wide Web, the Tim Burton Collective, is now on Twitter!: Subscribe to our RSS feed for updates!

We will continue to post all of our news on this blog, but you can now keep updated via Twitter!

Tim Burton MoMA Exhibition Opens!

The massive exhibition "Tim Burton" is now open to the public at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The enormous retrospective of the filmmaker's artwork and career will run until April 26th, 2010, and includes over 700 pieces.

Burton at White House

Some direct evidence of Tim Burton at the White House's annual Halloween party this year:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Burton's Book Signing at MoMA

On Wednesday, November 18th, Tim Burton stopped by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and greeted hundreds of fans. For an hour and a half, the filmmaker signed autographs in copies of MoMA's very own Tim Burton book and the newly released The Art of Tim Burton, and chatted briefly with a swarm of enthusiasts. Though a bit overwhelmed by the crowd and chaotic circumstances, Burton seemed genuinely friendly and humbled to see such a large crowd of people who connected with his films and visions so strongly.

All images courtesy of Fuzzy Duck. All rights reserved.

Get Your Copy of "The Art of Tim Burton"!

You can now pre-order your very own copy of the lavish, comprehensive book, The Art of Tim Burton.

For those of you who may be wondering about the differences between the Standard and Deluxe editions of the books, here are the details:

The Standard edition
is $69.99. The Deluxe edition is $299.99, because it includes a hand signed inside cover, a numbered and individually signed lithograph - ready for framing, not folded, and a cloth slipcase. Other than that, the Standard and Deluxe editions are identical: both contain over 1000 illustrations and 430 pages plus foldouts, and commentaries from numerous friends and collaborators of Tim Burton. Each versions usually ship in 2 to 4 weeks.

If you happen to be in New York City, you can pick up your own copy in person at the Museum of Modern Art's book store. Otherwise, you can pre-order your copy from Steeles Publishing if you're in the United States, or from Forbidden Planet if you're in the UK or Europe.

Here are some more preview images from The Art of Tim Burton:

“Alien Fighting Men,” 1981-1983

Pen and ink, colored pencil

“The Red Queen,” 2008

Pen and ink, colored pencil

“Tim With Chinese Security,” 2006

Pen and ink, watercolor

Burton created this illustration while searching for shooting locations in China for Ripley's Believe It or Not. Burton is no longer attached to the project.

“Well Endowed,” 1980-1990

Water color, pencil

“Battle Spread,” 1980-1989

Pen and ink, watercolor

A mere fragment of the expansive fold-out spread featured in the book.

Helena Bonham Carter says: "Tim's 5-year-old son [Billy Ray Burton] and he both love to draw monsters. Sometimes it's difficult to tell who drew what. And I mean that as a compliment to both."

Burton on "Twilight", MoMA; Exhibition Preview

MTV News spoke with Tim Burton at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

In this video, Burton discusses how this massive retrospective was such a "surreal" event for him:

"It's so surreal that it's a bit of an out-of-body experience," he told MTV News at the MoMA. "So you don't actually feel like it's you; it's somebody else. But like I said, it's a cool honor. I got to see friends that I hadn't seen in many years. It's a real nice thing."

For the filmmaker, this artwork was meant to be more of a personal catharsis rather than made for public viewing. "I've been there [with therapists]. Done that," he joked. "Making movies is an expensive form of therapy, but it's better than therapy. I've had a couple of psychiatrists who were up there in that range."

Burton says he is not very good at drawing, but he likes the honest imperfections of his work. The flaws, the good things, the bad things — it's all a part of what makes it a piece of work," he explained. "I accept the flaws, as much as I may not like them. ... These things should be kept as they are. I grew up loving terrible movies, so you don't want them to change. You want them to be bad as ever."

The topic of the ever-popular Twilight series has been booming in the news. Jamie Campbell Bower, who will appear in the next installment of the saga, suggested Burton ought to direct the next movie. "He's being biased, because I worked with him on 'Sweeney Todd,' " Burton laughed. "But that's nice to hear. In case potential jobs run out, it'd be nice to know someone."

The grand retrospective "Tim Burton" will be open to the public on Sunday, November 22nd. Members of MoMA can catch a preview of it now. Here are a few samples of the vast array of movie props, paintings, personal photographs, sketches, and artifacts featured in the exhibition (all images courtesy of MTV News):

The gaping maw leading to the beginning of the gallery.

A personal letter from Tim to Johnny Depp.

A conceptual painting of Brainiac for the unrealized film Superman Lives.

Another illustration of Brainiac for Superman Lives.

A painting of the Joker from Batman, the quintessential insane menace.

The disembodied heads of Pierce Brosnan and Sarah Jessica Parker from Mars Attacks!

Artwork from the making of Mars Attacks!, partially inspired by classic B-grade science fiction movies and pulp comics, but very much of Burton's original imagination.

Burton's fear of clowns on a massive scale, in the form of an alien invasion.

A video from YouTube user FGuts123, featuring more previews of the exhibition and some words from Burton himself at the podium during the MoMA press preview:

MoMA's Tribute to Tim Burton

On Tuesday, November 17th, the Museum of Modern Art in New York celebrated the art and films of Tim Burton while raising money for the museum's immense and ever-growing film collection. The night was a big success. Tim Burton, Helena Bonham Carter, Johnny Depp, and Danny Elfman, and Danny DeVito showed up, among other artists and celebrities at the gala benefit (YouTube video from deeplover):

Another video from YouTube user CarlosGranell, this one with Burton, Depp, Bonham Carter, DeVito, and others speaking directly to the camera, and showing some intriguing samples from the exhibition within:

Depp, Bonham Carter, Burton, and DeVito
(AP Photo/Evan Agostini)


REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Depp with musician/artist Patti Smith (who has some of her own artwork at MoMA, as well).


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

MoMA's Tim Burton Video Interview

In this video interview, Tim Burton shows us plenty of his previously unseen artwork (although he never considered it artwork before), and discusses his opening art exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, why sketches matter for his filmmaking, a movie he would bring to a desert island, why he wears striped socks, and much more:

All images courtesy of Tim Burton and © 2009 Tim Burton
Films stills courtesy of Photofest and the MoMA Film Stills Archive

Filmed by The People's DP Inc
Ed Roy, Carlos Germosen, Keenya Scott, Paul Reed
Edited by David Shuff
Music by Danny Elfman

© 2009 The Museum of Modern Art, New York

3rd "Alice" Poster

The third and final Alice in Wonderland poster in this series has made its debut.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Win the Chance to Photograph Tim Burton has a contest which will give the winner a chance to do a fancy photograph of Tim Burton. Here are the details from their website:

NEW SUPERCHIEF CONTEST!!! Win The Chance To Photograph Tim Burton At The MoMA, Nov 17th! (WE NEED A PHOTOGRAPHER)

Do you like Tim Burton? Well, is getting an early look at the exhibit next week, and while we're there, we need someone to take Tim Burton’s Picture. (We need new photographers and we thought this would be a nice way to both find an "incredibly talented" or "really fucking interesting" one as well as to give someone the chance to photograph Tim Burton.)

Sooooooo, do YOU want to do give it a shot?
SEND AN EMAIL TO SUPERCHIEFTV@GMAIL.COM with 3 photos that would make me feel like you’d have fun with it. (make them 800 pixels wide. vertical/horizontal – either way is cool)
Tell everyone in town, we pick a winner NOVEMBER 15th.
Thanks a bunch!

- Ed Zipco

Burton's Balloon Boy

Tim Burton's "Balloon Boy" at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City:

(Marilynn K. Yee/The New York Times)

This 21-foot-tall object is one of seven pieces especially made by Burton for the exhibition.

There is also a deer-shaped topiary in front of the entrance of the Titus theaters, inspired by the film Edward Scissorhands.

"For me the fun is making stuff," Mr. Burton said in a telephone interview from Los Angeles, "the joy of seeing where your thoughts take you.” Burton said that the space that now holds the "Balloon Boy" was particularly inspiring when he made it in July. "I always have ideas but often no place to execute them," he explained.

"It's a different kind of immersion into Tim's world," said Rajendra Roy, chief curator of film at MoMA.

The New York Times gave more information:

Some of the new works have explicit references to his films... A diorama created for the show was inspired by his short film The World of Stainboy.

The entrance to the exhibition also bears Mr. Burton's unmistakable hand. Visitors will walk into a giant monster’s mouth, its sharp teeth visible overhead and its tongue a long red carpet leading to the main galleries. It was inspired by an unrealized film project, Trick or Treat, from 1980. Next comes a striped wall with motifs reminiscent of both Beetlejuice, Mr. Burton's 1988 tale of newly dead ghosts, and his 2005 adaptation of the Roald Dahl novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Inside the show is a multimedia carousel hanging from the ceiling and revolving under black lights.

"I'm a fidgety person, so I doodle a lot," Mr. Burton said. "I don’t like to consider myself as an artist. It's too grand. I just like to make things."

Of everything in the show it is perhaps "Balloon Boy" that will make a lasting impression. But what if some child decides to prick it?

"I've got a whole Band-Aid kit ready to go," Mr. Burton replied instantly.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Tim Burton's MoMA Spot

Here's a fun little spot for Burton's upcoming MoMA exhibition, featuring stop-motion animation:

Directed by Tim Burton
Produced by Mackinnon and Saunders
CGI Animation: Flix Facilities
Animation: Chris Tichborne
Lighting Camera: Martin Kelly
Music by Danny Elfman

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

2nd Official "Alice" Poster Revealed

But the Mad Hatter needs 9,000 "Likes" to show the third and final official high resolution Alice in Wonderland poster in this series. Log on to Facebook and click away!

Burton to Receive Winsor McCay Award

Animation Magazine reports that ASIFA-Hollywood will present three individuals with the 2009 Winsor McCay Award for career achievement in animation: Tim Burton, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Bruce Timm.

The awards will be given on February 6th, 2010 at the 37th annual Annie Awards ceremony at UCLA's Royce Hall.

Winsor McCay, to whom the world of animation owes so much.

The Winsor McCay Award was named after the extremely influential animator and comic artist, who is perhaps best known for Little Nemo (1911) and Gertie the Dinosaur (1914), among numerous other ground-breaking and dazzling animated films.

Monday, November 09, 2009

"Barbie" in Wonderland?

Mattel presents their collectible tie-in with the major motion picture: Barbie dolls inspired by the upcoming Alice in Wonderland film.

Amazon has two dolls listed: Alice ($45.00) and the Mad Hatter ($49.99). These items will be released on March 1st, 2010. No images are available yet.

New "Alice" Poster

Lewis Carroll probably didn't anticipate Facebook, but the Mad Hatter needs 7,500 "Likes" from his 'disloyal subjects' in order to reveal two more high resolution posters. Click away, fans!

Burton Explains His Art

Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons... Tim Burton? Perhaps the well-established film director will become another name associated with the world of pop art. Ron Magliozzi, curator of the MoMA exhibition, seems to think so: "It may be that Tim will rival Warhol when it comes to output and international reputation in the various forms of artistic expression," Magliozzi said, according to The Independent. "Instead of using films to interpret the art, let's use the art to interpret the films. The art is the most important thing. The films are secondary."

But art critic Brian Sewell is dismissive of the notion. "I think curators are ill advised and usually wrong," he said. "I don't think there can ever be another Warhol. There could never be anybody who excels at that skilled merchandising of multiples. There was a small genius there, but I think Tim Burton – I wouldn't believe it of somebody so insignificant. It's a bit like when Paul McCartney's art was compared to Rothko. I think this will be a flash in the pan."

Whatever your thoughts on pop art may be, Burton's work has gathered a lot of interest. In anticipation of the upcoming gigantic Tim Burton art exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Tim Burton explained some of his artwork. The MoMA exhibition will include over 700 pieces from Burton's personal collection, as well as artifacts from his many films. Burton also made a specially commissioned sculpture for the museum. Here are a couple of samples, with some explanations from the artist/filmmaker himself:

Untitled (Blue Girl with Bouquet) 1992-1999
"I'd just done Batman Returns — after big movies, it's nice to go do something of your own. It was the first time I'd worked with a Polaroid camera, and it was so theatrical. So this person in my office, Leticia Rogers, and the costume designer Colleen Atwood, and I did our own fun photo shoot. I had some drawings I did for my book, and I thought it would be fun to fool around with these in live-action. And a little bit of that turned into the Sally character in The Nightmare Before Christmas."

Untitled (Picasso Woman) 1980-1990
"I used to go to the mall a lot — there's a lot of interesting people to look at, and you could sit there with nobody paying attention to you. I remember having a kind of mind-blowing experience where I was very frustrated drawing, struggling to fit in, and I said, 'Fuck it, I can't. I'm just going to draw the way I'm going to draw.' I had a couple good teachers who told me to just be myself. I didn't worry about physics or reality, and it freed me up to capture the way I saw a person."

The Green Man 1996-1998
Burton described this as a kind of self-portrait and memento mori. It’s about "a feeling of being in a pub in England, thinking about my grandmother who had died, and feeling the connections she had with me." The sharp edges of the triangular blue mask invoke her death in a traumatic accident. The stitching all over the man’s face is "a symbol for the internal, an indicator of a person's different sides and struggle to keep it together." The coat is classic Burton gothicism: "the exact opposite of Southern California," where he incongruously grew up. A stripes are another common trend in Burton's art. "I was depressed and disconnected. I couldn't feel my hands. I bought some striped socks and suddenly felt very connected to the Earth again. I have strange things happen to me."

The artwork displayed is on a variety of surfaces and mediums, ranging from canvas to notebooks to cocktail napkins. "Sometimes these things look like they're just weird," Burton says, "but I don't keep a journal or a diary. They help me to remember a certain feeling—they become time capsules."

Most of the artifacts from the vast exhibition are from Burton's home in Belsize Park in north-west London.

"It's hard for me to fathom, truthfully," he said, "because it's so outside my experience or culture. When they asked me about it I couldn't quite believe it. You feel quite vulnerable when you show a movie and this is even stranger. In a movie things go by quickly, like a moving target. This is like – oh gee. I'm a bit disturbed, really."

Burton also told New York Magazine, "It's like opening up an old closet or something — like 'Oh! What's all this crap?'"

See some of Burton's 'old crap' in 33 slides.

(All images are courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art and Tim Burton.)