Tim Burton X Donald Judd


Tim Burton was at MoMA yesterday, talking to media folk about a film dept. retrospective of his work, which includes an exhibition this fall of sketches, storyboards, props, puppets, etc. from his wacked out output.

I wasn't in town for the q&a [here's a movieline writeup via MoMA's Twitter] , but the confluence of Burton and MoMA reminded me of one of my favorite art geek moments: spotting Donald Judd chairs in the background of a 2-second shot in the director's 1993 stop action animated film, Nightmare Before Christmas.

That's them in the corner there, in a montage where Jack ruins Christmas all over town. Here's a close-up. They're pink!


I had really just begun getting interested in Judd's furniture a year or so before this, so I was pretty attuned. In fact, several months after seeing the movie, I met Rainer Judd to talk about buying some pieces, about differences or changes with the handling of furniture that might follow her father's untimely death.

As we chatted, I mentioned the chairs Tim Burton had put in the movie, and she was pretty surprised. She knew Burton, it turned out, and knew he was a fan of the work. And yet, she'd never heard about the chairs--or chairs inspired by the chairs--making a cameo.

Never did hear anything else about it. Hope I didn't get him into trouble.

Since 2001 here at greg.org, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting greg.org that time.

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first published: August 1, 2009.

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