It’s hard to get noticed in Las Vegas but not if you’re Tim Burton. The creator of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993) and “Corpse Bride” (2005) practically owns Halloween, which makes his show “Lost Vegas” at the city’s Neon Museum one hot ticket. Speaking of tickets, some are still available Thursday on the actual trick-or-treat day.
For the show, Burton drew on his memories of Vegas, a place he said, at an Oct. 14 press conference, he has been coming to “since I was basically a baby.” Vegas inspired and informed some of his films too. Site-specific sculptures and installations reference the 1996 movie “Mars Attacks!” (look for alien figures installed near the museum sign featured in the movie) and “Beetlejuice” (1988).
The largest piece in the show is a 40-foot-tall “Lost Vegas Sign Tower,” made of neon tubing and lightbulbs. Other pieces such as “Spiral-Eyed Girl” and “Flying Saucers” stick with Burton’s own recognizable brand of sci-fi-fantasy.
The museum is hosting two shows featuring Burton: his artworks in the main Boneyard amid historic neon signs ($30 per person for an hourlong tour) and a 25-minute light projection experience called “Brilliant” ($24). Since the show opened in mid-October, visitor numbers are up, more than double on some days, over last year’s numbers.
The show is the first of Burton’s work in almost a decade, after LACMA hosted a comprehensive show that included 700 drawings, paintings, photographs, moving-image works, storyboards and more, including some works from his personal collection.
If you miss the show this week, no worries. It will remain on display through Feb. 15.
Info: The Neon Museum