For the first time in a decade, Tim Burton's art is heading to America

Las Vegas has been a magnet for Hollywood talent since the the 1950s, when stars like Elvis Presley and Liberace took the stage. Now you can add one more auteur to the list. 

Tim Burton art outside of Melbourne's Alfred Deakin building
Tim Burton will be showing his fine art in the U.S. for the first time since November 2009. Image by Tim Burton

Beginning on 15 October, director Tim Burton will bring his singular vision to Las Vegas with a fine-art exhibit at the Neon Museum. It will feature both new and previously-shown pieces, with installations appearing in the museum’s outdoor Boneyard exhibition space, the North Gallery, and at Boneyard Park near the visitor’s center. Titled “Lost Vegas: Tim Burton @ the Neon Museum,” this will be the artist's first American fine-art exhibit since the Museum of Modern Art hosted a show of his work back in 2009. 

Tim Burton art
Burton's last show on these shores boasted the third-highest attendance in MoMA history. Image by Tim Burton

That MoMa display was the museum’s third most popular ever, drawing 810,500 visitors, as the New York Times reported, “to see artefacts like Mr. Burton’s early illustrations and a prop of Sarah Jessica Parker’s severed head from his movie Mars Attacks!” The Vegas exhibit is likely to be equally well attended, but thanks to site-specific, large-scale installations created especially for the Neon Museum’s outdoor spaces, it’s sure to be unlike anything the artist has done before. 

Tim Burton exhibit
The Neon Museum credits Burton with being the first to bring international attention to its collection. Image by Tim Burton

Long a champion of the museum’s mission to preserve and display the iconic neon signs of Las Vegas, Burton was one of the first to recognize its visual and commercial appeal, placing it front and center in Mars Attacks! and drawing attention from the world over in the process. For this fall’s exhibit, the director’s new pieces will be woven throughout the museum’s collection, simultaneously a creative retrospective as well as a sign of his enduring affection for the place.

“To say we’re flattered that Mr. Burton has chosen our museum for this exhibition would be an understatement,” Neon Museum president and CEO Rob McCoy said in a statement. “But when you think about it, Tim is one of the few artists who can match the great imagination of Las Vegas.”