If you’ve been wondering about those mysterious photos of your friends seemingly floating amongst infinite cosmic light that have been popping up all over your feeds this fall, it’s time to trot yourself down to The Broad (like “road” with a “b”) museum and experience it for yourself. The newest arrival on the contemporary art scene, The Broad is already a hot-ticket destination for the city’s trendsetters, who flock through the doors each day to take in the likes of Warhol, Basquiat, Lichtenstein and Koons, amongst a plethora of modern art heavy hitters.
Built from scratch to host the 2000-piece art collection of Eli and Edythe Broad, the museum opened in September 2015 and has become an architectural destination in and of itself. Located adjacent to the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Downtown LA, the Diller Scofidio + Renfro designed museum boasts a huge looming perforated metallic “honeycomb” exterior that adds even more wow factor to your walk down Grand Avenue—the two enormous landmarks at once opposing and complimentary.
The interior is everything a modern art museum should be—stark white, allowing the art to take center stage, sprinkled with a few cool futuristic accents (take the elevator for a fun little Jetsons experience). They’ve done an excellent job of packing a lot of art into just two stories, which means you can tailor-make your visit to suit your needs. If you’re the type who likes to walk through at a clipped pace and just take in the sights, you could be out in an hour. But if you like to read about the work, sit with pieces and experience the installations on offer (which we HIGHLY recommend you do), you could be there for several hours.
When you arrive at the museum, be sure to head straight to the kiosk for Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room—The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away. This is the afore-mentioned Instagram-frenzied installation that is not to be missed. We don’t want to give too much away because it’s best to go in knowing as little as possible. Just know that you must sign up for a separate timed-entry slot upon arrival. Tickets sell out for the day very early on, so sign up, take in the museum and be sure to come back at your allotted time. Guests are allowed in only one or two at a time for 45 seconds. The best way to experience it is to take your picture up at the top and then PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY and enjoy it in real life. If you do, it will make you believe in magic again.
The full collection is filled with enough artists to suit every individual palate. Takashi Murakami’s 82-foot-long In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow makes you feel as if you have stepped inside a Japanese animation—in all its bright, grotesque glory. Kara Walker’s African’t utilizes a simple old-fashioned silhouette technique similar to the decals we put up in a child’s bedroom for haunting results. As you wind your way through, heavy themes butt right up against candy pop. As you stand there considering the meaning of Koons’ giant metallic balloon animal, you definitely feel like you’ve cut class with Ferris for the day to ponder the meaning of life and art.
But hands-down our favorite piece was Ragnar Kjartansson’s The Visitors. Downstairs on the first floor as you enter, sequestered behind curtains, a little room opens up with nine video screens running simultaneously which feature musicians playing one song all together from different parts of the same house. Again, we don’t want to give too much away here, but we could have easily stayed in this room for the full hour without ever wanting to leave. It is a beautiful and transcendent moment of your visit—one surely not to be missed. Run, don’t walk, to see this one. Better yet, Uber—then you don’t have to deal with parking. Whatever you do, just get yourself here already.
Your Broad Visit 411~
The Broad offers free admission that can be reserved in advance online. One person can reserve up to eight free tickets here: https://ticketing.thebroad.org/general-admission. Be advised that tickets have been flying off the shelves and the earliest available opening is March 2016, so we recommend getting your tickets now. Choose a morning time slot when booking your entry tickets for the best chance at getting into the Infinity room. Same-day admission tickets are also available on a first-come first-served basis for those willing to brave the lines to get in. Be sure to download The Broad App to your phone before you go for a self-guided audio tour in your pocket. Opt out of the museum’s $12 three-hour parking for one of the cheaper lots in every direction that offer all-day parking for $8-$10. If you’re hungry after, hoof it on down the street to Blue Cow for delish bites and drinks or head over a few blocks to Grand Central Market where you can taste and tour the “art” of LA’s food scene.
The Broad is open Tues ~ Sun and admission is free. Find exact museum hours & info here: www.thebroad.org.
© 2015 Sirens and Scoundrels