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Big news for Toronto’s passionate legions of film lovers:

The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) will present the only Canadian appearance of a new exhibition that offers a rare glimpse into the creative process of famed filmmaker Guillermo del Toro. In partnership with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia), Guillermo del Toro: At Home With Monsters makes its Canadian debut at the AGO on Sept. 30, 2017 and runs to Jan. 7, 2018. More information can be found here.

Co-curated by Britt Salvesen of LACMA, Jim Shedden of the AGO, and Matthew Welch of Mia, Guillermo del Toro: At Home With Monsters brings together elements from del Toro’s films, objects from his vast personal collections and objects from the permanent collections of all three institutions. The diverse range of media featured in this exhibition—including sculpture, paintings, prints, photography, costumes, ancient artifacts, books, maquettes and film—totals approximately 500 objects and reflects the broad and alluring scope of del Toro’s inspirations.

“Guillermo del Toro believes that we need monsters,” says Jim Shedden, co-curator and the AGO’s Manager of Publishing. “To him, the imperfections of monsters are found in all of us, whether we see them or not. At the same time, despite his empathy for the tragic monster, del Toro is fascinated with truly terrifying and invulnerable monsters. By witnessing his incredible creative process, we can make unexpected connections among different genres and narratives, high art and pop culture, and blur boundaries between fantasty and reality.”

“To find beauty in the profane. To elevate the banal. To be moved by genre. These things are vital for my storytelling,” says Guillermo del Toro. “This exhibition presents a small fraction of the things that have moved me, inspired me, and consoled me as I transit through life. It’s a devotional sampling of the enormous love that is required to create, maintain, and love monsters in our lives.”

Still from Crimson Peak
Still from Crimson Peak

The exhibition will be presented in eight themes, all of which offer new insights into the mind of the visionary director, writer and artist:

Rain Room, a recreation of a favourite spot in del Toro’s personal residence (“Bleak House”) where he installed a false window with special effects to simulate a perpetual thunderstorm; Childhood and Innocence; Victoriana; Magic, Alchemy, and the Occult; Movies, Comics and Pop Culture; Frankenstein and Horror; Freaks and Monsters; Death and the Afterlife.

Guillermo del Toro is the inventive director of, first, Cronos (1993) and continuing through The Devil’s Backbone (2001), Hellboy (2004), Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), Pacific Rim (2013), and Crimson Peak (2015). Guillermo del Toro has reinvented the genres of horror, fantasy and science fiction. Working with a team of craftsmen, artists, and actors—and referencing a wide range of cinematic, pop-culture, and art-historical sources—del Toro recreates the lucid dreams he experienced as a child in Guadalajara, Mexico. He now works internationally with a cherished home base he calls “Bleak House” in the suburbs of Los Angeles.

More details to follow here on Step On Magazine ahead of this once-in-a-lifetime exhibit making its Canadian debut at the AGO.

With thanks to AGO Communications.