Guillermo del Toro Honored at LACMA Art + Film Gala

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/gettyimages
Guillermo del Toro

Bob Iger, Ryan Coogler, George Lucas and Dakota Johnson were just a few of the attendees at LACMA's 8th annual event.

“I am clothed tonight in my favorite designer: big and tall,” Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro joked Saturday night while being honored at LACMA’s 8th annual Art + Film Gala. The Gucci-sponsored evening brought out a parade of stylish stars to celebrate the filmmaker and fellow honoree Catherine Opie.
 
During the cocktail hour, where guests munched on white truffle puffed pastry, last year’s honoree George Lucas and Mellody Hobson chatted with Kenneth 'Babyface' Edmonds. Jared Leto, who leads Gucci’s Guilty fragrance campaign, held court by the end of the orange carpet where stars from the art world, entertainment and fashion posed for photographers.
 
Marvel directors Ryan Coogler and Jon Favreau were in attendance, along with Disney chief Bob Iger and the dean of USC’s Annenberg journalism school, Willow Bay. Hari Nef, Dakota Johnson, Damien Chazelle and newly appointed Bond director Carey Fukanaga were just a few of the other famous faces at the mid-Wilshire gala.
 
Also on hand were the two other thirds of Del Toro’s “three amigos," pals Alejandro G. Inarritu, a previous Art + Film honoree, and Alfonso Cuaron, whose latest film Roma is the subject of a new exhibit at LACMA.
 
 
The gala, which was co-chaired by LACMA trustees Eva Chow and Leonardo DiCaprio and sponsored in part by Audi as the official automobile partner, raised funds to support the museum's film initiatives and future exhibitions, acquisitions and programming. The A-list event pulled in a record amount of money, with $4.5 million raised.
 
The art of Opie, who has lived and worked in Los Angeles for three decades, was displayed during a video segment that tracked the artist's career from her portraits of the queer community in San Francisco to her landscapes of cities and freeways. “Those of you who have lived here for quite a long time, as well, will know you are in an incredibly vibrant community of thinkers and creators,” she said of her home. 
 
“It is an interesting pairing,” added Opie of her fellow honoree. “We both really believe in humanity and believe in the relationship between human beings' vulnerability and their toughness.” 
 
Introducing del Toro was Jeffrey Katzenberg, who said, “We are here to honor a maker of worlds, worlds beyond our imagining that are somehow deeply relatable.” The Quibi founder also offered a piece of advice over dinner, saying, “Please make it a point to get a hug from Guillermo before the night is out.” The director was happy to grant a big hug to Katzenberg as he took the stage for his acceptance speech.
 
“It is a time when my race is vilified and the community is being legislated out of existence,” said the director, presumably alluding to actions taken by the Trump administration against immigrants from his native Mexico. “We are outcast, we are the other, but we exist and we are needed.” 
 
The Pan’s Labyrinth filmmaker has had a long history with LACMA. In 2016, del Toro partnered with the museum for the exhibit “At Home With Monsters,” where he lent pieces from his personal collection of curiosities, which included props from his own films such as Hellboy as well as Hollywood history, with pieces from early Disney productions and Universal’s monster movies. “They lined up around the block to see one thing: stories,” he said of the exhibit.
 
“The three things that I think count for existence are love, friendship, and art," del Toro continued. “We use art to understand who we are in this world and how we exist in the cosmos, what is our reason for being.”