Tim Burton Calls Retrospective Museum Exhibit ‘Surreal’

'It's a bit of an out-of-body experience,' director says of seeing his work at New York's Museum of Modern Art.

Tim Burton definitely has his own aesthetic: part goth, part whimsy, part just plain Burton. Throughout his career, he has established himself as the go-to guy for the strangely charming and bizarre.

Now, the man behind such classics as “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure,” “Beetlejuice,” “Edward Scissorhands” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is being honored with a retrospective exhibit of the artwork connected to some of his most beloved films at the Museum of Modern Art in New York this winter. The visionary said he still doesn’t believe that the work in the exhibit belongs to him.

“It’s so surreal that it’s a bit of an out-of-body experience,” he told MTV News at the MoMA. “So you don’t actually feel like it’s you; it’s somebody else. But like I said, it’s a cool honor. I got to see friends that I hadn’t seen in many years. It’s a real nice thing.”

Burton said seeing his cinematic history in the museum hasn’t yet given him any sort of mental breakdown. And even if it does, he has a way of dealing with the nerves. “I’ve been there [with therapists]. Done that,” he joked. “Making movies is an expensive form of therapy, but it’s better than therapy. I’ve had a couple of psychiatrists who were up there in that range.”

It might seem tempting to fix the flaws in his previous work, but Burton said seeing it all again is like opening a time capsule. “The flaws, the good things, the bad things — it’s all a part of what makes it a piece of work,” he explained. “I accept the flaws, as much as I may not like them. … These things should be kept as they are. I grew up loving terrible movies, so you don’t want them to change. You want them to be bad as ever.”

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