The wellspring of imagination turning about in Guillermo del Toro’s head is realized in the halls of his creative enclave and Los Angeles home, the colloquially called Bleak House. The renowned director resides at the sprawling, Haunted Mansion-like structure, developing his ideas that someday may turn into a primal horror movie (Hellboy) or an otherworldly surrealist fable (Pan’s Labyrinth). Now, del Toro’s creative process—or the closest thing his fans may get to it—is on view at LACMA. The exhibit, titled Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters, is the director’s first museum retrospective.
In essence, the comprehensive presentation is a dive into one of contemporary film’s most marvelous minds. The exhibit showcases personal photographs from inside the director’s private space, where he spends his time dreaming up story dynamics, character development, and enthralling visuals of his films. Some of the installations in the exhibit, like life-sized figurines of his fictional characters, are borrowed from the Bleak House. It boasts a plethora of different forms of medium, from two-dimensional illustrations, photography, and notebook sketchings, to larger-scale collections of books, costumes, film objects, and ancient artifacts.
At Home with Monsters is organized into eight thematic sections, among them “Childhood and Innocence,” “Victoriana,” “Movies, Comics, Pop Culture,” “Frankenstein and Horror,” “Freaks and Monsters,” and “Death and Afterlife.” It's a sweeping look at the monumental rise of the man who uplifted the film world into a realm of fantasy, causing many a moviegoer to ask, “How can I get an imagination like that?” See for yourself in the selection of images below:
Guillermo del Toro' Bleak House. Photo © Josh White/ JWPictures.com
Find the massive, 500-object show at LACMA from August 1–November 27, 2016. Learn more about Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters here.