Chaotic Passions: Guillermo del Toro And Collecting

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Guillermo del Toro considers his collections to be essential sources of nourishment and inspiration. He has accumulated hundreds of paintings, drawings, sculptures, books, and specimens over many years, pursuing longstanding passions and making new discoveries. The collection grows organically but not haphazardly, with del Toro fully involved in arranging and maintaining it. Indeed, the filmmaker’s collections are essential to his working process—they constitute his environment and, grouped into thematic libraries, stand for the various genres and subgenres he wanders among as a storyteller.

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Del Toro’s notebooks, collections, and domestic environment point to the curatorial aspects of his approach to filmmaking. On one level, he carefully constructs and stages his films in the manner of an exhibition. On another level, he fills their plots with commentaries about the social, psychological, and spiritual power of objects. For del Toro, collecting is a fruitful creative activity—one he pursues with awareness of historic precedents and with his own distinct intentions. In Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters, on view at LACMA from August 1 through November 27, del Toro demonstrates the energizing effects of cross-pollination among genres, categories, and disciplines.

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