Mak­ing an ex­hi­bi­tion of him­self

SFX - - Reviews -

re­leased OUT NOW! 151 pages | Hard­back Ed­i­tors Britt salvesen, Jim shed­den, Matthew Welch Pub­lisher Ti­tan Books

Not many peo­ple have their col­lec­tions dig­ni­fied by ex­hi­bi­tion in a mu­seum – cu­ra­tors haven’t been lin­ing up to loan our Doc­tor Who Weetabix cards. But it’s a lit­tle dif­fer­ent when you’re Guillermo del Toro, whose col­lec­tion’s so vast much of it’s now housed in a building dubbed Bleak House.

Now a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween mu­se­ums in LA, On­tario and Min­neapo­lis has im­ported del Toro’s gothic gew­gaws into the academy, set­ting them along­side the sort of art that’s fired his imag­i­na­tion. This slim com­pan­ion vol­ume fea­tures con­tex­tu­al­is­ing es­says on col­lect­ing and ideas of the mon­strous; a thought­ful in­ter­view on his phi­los­o­phy of cinema; and a gallery that jux­ta­poses, say, Blade 2 con­cept art with an 18th cen­tury etch­ing.

At times you can’t help feel­ing we’re tak­ing, say, a fiftysome­thing fan­boy’s Franken­stein fig­urines a lit­tle too se­ri­ously. And are we look­ing at key works that in­spired him, or just ones that hap­pened to be­long to the mu­se­ums in­volved? All but the most com­pletist fans can stick with Guillermo del Toro’s Cabi­net Of Cu­riosi­ties (2013), which cov­ers much the same ground. Ian Ber­ri­man

Are we look­ing at key works?

Com­ing soon (due 21 Oct): Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth, a tenth an­niver­sary mak­ing of book fea­tur­ing re­mov­able items.

The hall­way of Bleak House.

1778 etch­ing “En­rag’d Mon­ster”.

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