Tuesday, October 31, 2017

At Home With Monsters

October 2017- Toronto ON

Sharing at Fly Away Friday #FlyAwayFriday

John and I went to this exhibit at the AGO Art Gallery of Ontario, today, Halloween.

It was a frightfully good way to spend the afternoon.
I didn't know anything about him but John had seen quite a few of his films.

It would be incredible to visit Del Toro's home, Bleak House, in LA, which this exhibit is based on.

This is a great article from the AGO on the design of the exhibit.

Source - AGO
From the fantastic to the frightful, don’t miss this rare glimpse into the world of renowned filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and his cabinet of curiosities. Taking inspiration from del Toro’s extraordinary imagination, At Home with Monsters reveals his creative process through his personal collection of art, artefacts, books, and props, all culled Bleak House, Guillermo del Toro’s home in suburban L.A., is a shrine to the spooky, bizarre and supernatural. Every spare inch of wall and shelf space is occupied by artworks, artifacts and ephemera that the filmmaker has accumulated over the past decade: Gothic paintings, jarred octopus tentacles, rare comic books, freakishly lifelike mannequins of authors like Edgar Allan Poe, and props from the many films he’s directed, including Pan’s Labyrinth and Crimson Peak. The house stimulates del Toro’s imagination and frightens the uninitiated: he once had to explain to a suspicious cop that the unresponsive body in his TV room was just a dummy of Linda Blair’s character from The Exorcist.

“To find beauty in the profane. To elevate the banal. To be moved by genre. These things are vital for my storytelling,” says Guillermo del Toro. “This exhibition presents a small fraction of the things that have moved me, inspired me, and consoled me as I transit through life.”


This unique exhibition explores the creative mind behind one of the most inventive filmmakers of our generation revealing his influences, from the Medieval era to contemporary culture, and his particular obsession with horror, fantasy and the rich heritage of the Victorian era. At Home with Monsters is organized thematically, beginning with visions of childhood and innocence and the Victorian era; continuing through explorations of death and the afterlife, magic, occultism, alchemy, Frankenstein and horror, monsters; and concluding with a celebration of comics, movies and popular culture.

A life-sized representation of the Pale Man, from Guillermo del Toro’s seminal film Pan’s Labyrinth, is the first statue to welcome guests who visit the exhibition.

Charles Webster Hawthorne (1872-1930) Girl with Dolls


Mechanical artist Brian Poor takes a popular bust of Polish composer/pianist Frédéric Chopin and replaces everything above the jaw with an animatronic mouth and eyes.

The otherworldly art of Queens, New York, painter Travis Louie places fantastical people and creatures within the formal social constructs of Victorian and Edwardian times. In this unsettling painting from del Toro’s collection, a man with hauntingly milky eyes wears a top hat while a tiny creature perches above.

In this Gothic romance masterpiece, a young woman is swept away to a house atop a mountain of blood-red clay— a place filled with secrets that will haunt her forever. Between desire and darkness, between mystery and madness, lies the truth behind Crimson Peak.

As an a side, most of this movie were filmed in Toronto.

The Rain Room features two windows with a dark window and a rain effect behind it, recreating the stormy Rain Room in Bleak House, a space that provides the kind of atmosphere the director requires when coming up with new work. Here, a Thomas Kuebler-created figure of Edgar Allan Poe sits before the windows.

Today, babies born with the brain condition microcephaly have been linked to Zika-infested mosquitos in tropical locales. However in 1932, a microcephaly-suffering man named Simon “Schlitzie” Metz was a carnival sideshow performer who starred in the Tod Browning film Freaks. The Kuebler sculpture of Schlitzie featured in the show is emblematic of the kind of outsiders del Toro is drawn to.

The Faun from Pan’s Labyrinth

The Angel of Death - life size model of the Hellboy 2 character.

He's a huge fan of Frankenstein.

This corner is dedicated to H. P.Lovecraft, and includes a life-sized model by Thomas Kuebler.
Howard Phillips Lovecraft August 20, 1890 – March 15, 1937) was an American writer who achieved posthumous fame through his influential works of horror fiction. He was virtually unknown and published only in pulp magazines before he died in poverty, but he is now regarded as one of the most significant writers of the 20th-century.

Here are some other random pieces from the exhibit.

It is my most cherished desire that as you leave the exhibition, the monsters follow you home.- Guillermo del Toro, filmmaker