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Halloween Quote Special - "Guillermo del Toro: At Home With Monsters" at AGO

Writing

Halloween Quote Special - "Guillermo del Toro: At Home With Monsters" at AGO

Alexei Muravsky

A couple of weekends ago I had the opportunity to visit Guillermo del Toro’s recent exhibition at the AGO called At Home With Monsters. It gave the audience a view into his creative haven, an abode called Bleak House. Here are some quotes from the world-renowned director, which were imprinted on the walls of the exhibit:

On Childhood:

For me, childhood is the forge of the soul. I think that everything that is wrong with us and everything that is right with us is cemented in our first seven or eight years of life.

On Disney:

Walt Disney, to me, is one of the great storytellers of childhood tales. He has a lot of darkness in him.

On Victorian Culture:

I am obsessed with Victorian culture. I have a room of my library at home called ‘The Dickens Room.’ It has every work by Dickens, Wilkie Collins and many other Victorian novelists, plus hundreds of works about Victorian London and its customs, etiquette, architecture.

On Insects:

Insects are living metaphors for me. They are so alien and so remote and so perfect, but also they are emotionless, they don’t have any human or mammalian instincts. They’ll eat their young at the drop of a hat… There’s no empathy.

On Rain:

As a kid I dreamed of having a house with secret passages and a room where it rained 24 hours a day…

On Death:

There is something moving about death and decay. But for the Western world, death is a negative. And to me it isn’t! It’s actually the very essence of life.

On Art:

I find that most art is alchemy. Certainly, film is alchemy. You are creating something transcendental and pure and beautiful out of a lot of vile matter, which is what alchemists did. They took common metals, like lead, and elevated them into a metal that they thought sublime, eternal: gold.

On Eccentricity:

I felt at the age of seven or eight, or even earlier, that I didn’t really belong with the other kids that perfectly. I felt like an outsider. The horror genre seemed to show me other outcasts I could sympathize with.

On Humanity:

I think what is beautiful about humanity is that we have an absolute polychrome set of choices. We can choose to be heroes or villains every day.

On Influences:

I am influenced by literature as much as I am by comics, and by fine art as much as I am by the so-called low-brow… I try to present myself as I am, without apologies and with absolute passion and sincerity.

On Frankenstein:

Frankenstein, to me, is instrumental in the way I see the world… It is the essential narrative of the fall of man into an imperfect world by an uncaring creator.

On Normality:

I don’t really care much for the idea of ‘normal’ – that’s very abstract to me. I think that perfection is practically unattainable but imperfection is right at hand. So that’s why I love monsters: because they represent a side of us that we should actually embrace and celebrate.

I was pulled into the exhibition with the promise of the macabre transformed into art, and left with the pleasure of also coming to a better understanding of del Toro’s process, and the inspiration behind his own work. If you have the opportunity to do so I highly suggest checking out the exhibition – it runs until January 7th, 2018.


For more quotes go here.