To say Guillermo del Toro is an interesting fellow would be putting it lightly. From Pan’s Labyrinth to The Devil’s Backbone and Hellboy, the director has made some of the creepiest, horror and science fiction movies of the last two decades. Now thanks to the AGO and del Toro himself, we are able to catch of glimpse inside his world and see where he gets his inspiration from.
In Los Angeles del Toro owns a house he calls Bleak House, and inside he stores his own personal collection of art, artefacts, books and props, many of which are surrounding the horror genre. Thanks to his generosity, del Toro has allowed some of these items to come to the AGO, in an ambitious recreation of his home. In a press release del Toro said “To find beauty in the profane. To elevate the banal. To be moved by genre. These things are vital for my storytelling. This exhibition presents a small fraction of the things that have moved me, inspired me, and consoled me as I transit through life.”
The exhibition displays hundreds of items from del Toro’s collection, including props from several of his movies and artwork he’s collected over the years. As you walk among it you can’t help but feel a sense of awe at all the stuff he’s gathered, and yet the hairs on the back of your neck never seem to go down either. In the background music plays that adds to the overall ambiance as well. While a lot of the items are actually from del Toro’s home, there are some that he selected from the AGO’s collection to help with the feel of things. The exhibitions is organized by themes, from childhood and innocence, to death and the afterlife, movies, comic books and popular culture, and a whole lot more.
If you are a fan of del Toro’s work, and even if you are not, At Home With Monsters is a fantastic exploration of a visionary director’s mind, and one you won’t forget any time soon. You can catch it at the AGO until January 2018.
Photos: Roderick Thedorff