See the frightful, imaginative and intriguing world of Guillermo del Toro on display

Image by © Josh White/JWPictures.com

By Charles Brandt

The Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) is known throughout the country for the expansiveness of its collection. Within these walls lie over 89,000 works of art that are representative of numerous artistic periods throughout world history. From the Doryphoros Italian marble statue that stands prominently in the Bruce B. Dayton Rotunda to my personal favorite, Dream Castle in the Sky by Maxfield Parrish, this museum is loaded with a fine collection of artwork that can keep you engaged for hours. Mia is also known for hosting some impressive exhibitions that rotate throughout the year. Currently, they’re showcasing At Home With Monsters, which explores the creative process of innovative filmmaker Guillermo del Toro.

Frankenstein's monster and wife on display at an art exhibit

Image by Charles Brandt

The world of del Toro is intriguing, imaginative and frightful. His films, including Cronos, Devil’s Backbone, Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth, Pacific Rim and Crimson Peak, twist and blend the horror, fantasy and science fiction genres until it’s difficult to see where one stops and the other begins. Del Toro’s unique imagination, sense of aesthetic, and fascination with magic, occultism, monsters, and the horror genre, have allowed him to create sets, characters and stories that have a very fantastic and distinctive feel.

The At Home With Monsters exhibit was curated from del Toro’s personal collection of paintings and drawings created by himself and his inspirations, models, sculptures, concept art and movie props. All of these works were pulled from del Toro’s Los Angeles residence, appropriately named Bleak House. As is true with the house, the exhibit is sectioned off into different thematic rooms, each having it’s own ambiance, character and focus. Museum patrons visiting the exhibit walk through innocence and childhood, then explorations of magic, occultism, horror and monsters, before reaching the room dedicated to death and the afterlife. Though this may sound a bit terrifying, there is a whimsical element to del Toro’s creations and inspirations that makes them approachable and fun.

For those with less of an esoteric mindset, it is simply a cool experience to walk through the exhibit and be within del Toro’s process as a filmmaker. Each room is full of concept sketches, models and movie props, large and small, including a lifesize version of Pan, a spacesuit from Pacific Rim, and Hellboy’s leather duster jacket and giant multi-barrel sawed off shotgun, “the Big Baby.” The entire exhibit is also littered with a grand collection of artwork by creators that have inspired del Toro, digital copies of his personal sketchbooks, and his massive Famous Monsters magazine collection.

The exhibit runs through May 28. Tickets are $20 and $16 for Mia members. For more ticketing information, please visit Mia’s ticketing page.

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