Lonely Planet Writer

This stunning Guillermo del Toro retrospective in Los Angeles is a must for film fans

A new Guillermo del Toro exhibition in Los Angeles aims to explore the creative process behind the inventive filmmakers’ projects.  

Del Toro's fascination with Frankenstein takes pride of place at the exhibit.
Del Toro’s fascination with Frankenstein takes pride of place at the exhibit. Image by Joshua White/JWPictures.com

Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters is at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) until 27 November. The retrospective brings together his notebook drawings, objects from his films – including Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboyand inspiration from LACMA’s own permanent collection.

Visitors can explore 500 objects in total and they vary from sculptures, photography and costumes to books and films and aims to reflect the broad scope of del Toro’s inspiration.

The exhibition is organised thematically. Beginning with Childhood and Innocence, visitors can explore del Toro’s influence from Victoriana, magic, the occult, movies, comics and pop culture, Frankenstein and other monsters. There’s also a section examining death and the afterlife in del Toro’s work and a chance to experience the filmmaker’s interpretation of a Rain Room.

Del Toro's fascination with death and the afterlife is highlighted in the retrospective.
Del Toro’s fascination with death and the afterlife is highlighted in the retrospective. Image by Joshua White/JWPictures.com

“This exhibition presents a small fraction of the things that have moved me, inspired me, and consoled me as I transit through life”, del Toro said. “It’s a devotional sampling of the enormous love that is required to create, maintain, and love monsters in our lives. To find beauty in the profane. To elevate the banal. To be moved by genre. These things are vital for my storytelling.”

“By bringing del Toro’s notebooks, collections, and film art into museum galleries, we acknowledge the curatorial aspects of his approach to filmmaking,” says Britt Salvesen, curator and department head of the Prints and Drawings department at LACMA. “In this retrospective, as in his extraordinary filmography, del Toro demonstrates the energising effects of cross-pollination.”

The Guillermo del Toro exhibition will tour Minneapolis and Ontario in 2017.
The Guillermo del Toro exhibition will tour Minneapolis and Ontario in 2017. Image by Joshua White/JWPictures.com

If you can’t catch the retrospective in LA, it will go on tour in 2017 and is scheduled to exhibit in the Minneapolis Institute of Art from 26 February to 21 May before moving to the Art Gallery of Ontario from 30mSeptember to January 2018.