A few weekends ago on October 21, we were able to experience one of my favourite art exhibits that I have ever been to. We got to see the Guillermo del Toro exhibition called At Home With Monsters at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. Being big fans of his work, we were seriously so thrilled to be able to look at his collection of art, props, and literature. You may know him as the director of Pans Labyrinth, Crimson Peaks, Hellboy 1 and 2 and so many others. As a huge fan of gothic literature as well as prop and set design, and traditional special FX, I jumped on this exhibit as soon as it was announced.
We spent the hour, wandering through this maze of set concepts, storyboards, pieces from his personal collection as well as actual props from his movies, like the actual jacket that Hellboy wore, and all of the guns and weapons he uses in the film! I couldn’t keep my composure at all. Seeing his work up close was so inspiring to me. He is a true creative, and a lover of literature and is just constantly coming up with new and even creepier things.
He had two rooms dedicated to Edgar Allen Poe, one of my favourite gothic poets, and H.P Lovecraft, one of my all-time favourite authors. The rooms housed what I think were first editions of some of their publications and life-sized sculptures of each writer, in a setting that made sense to their history. Edgar sat reading in front of a window, looking out at the rain, and Lovecraft stood in a room where a live pianist played. It was truly such an insane day trip. I wish we could have stayed there forever.
There was a wide variety of art installations, like a huge and iconic Frankenstein head that hung from the wall, projection poetry on the dark walls in the hallways, and a strange shadow perspective box where you could either see a young boy or a creepy figure depending on which way you looked at it. At one point we turned out of a room that was dedicated to the collection of all things occult, and into a room that was completely lined in cartoons, from floor to ceiling! It really was an experience that I can imagine ever having again. I went with the perfect people, my partner and his step-dad, both really big fans and appreciators of Guillermo del Toro.
Our day was wrapped up with a walk through the Canzine Market that took place downstairs in the museum, and then lunch at Momofuku, my favourite ramen place ever.