Finally made it out to DTLA’s new art museum, The Broad! I’ve been putting it off, waiting for the crowds to die down, but (1) that apparently is not going to happen (good for them) and (2) I found out today was the last day of the first floor’s inaugural exhibit. So we got in the line early and waited. I hate waiting in lines but it was worth it 🙂
The law firm I was working at was in one of the towers next door when Eli Broad and the city first announced the museum would be built here, I think it was 2010?? I watched it get constructed and anticipated its opening for literally years. I honestly felt like it’s construction paralleled my journey from law to design to freelance. Haha. Sounds silly. But really. So yeah, this place means something to me. And it lives up to the hype.
Here are some thoughts and pictures from today I wanted to share 🙂
Everything I wanted it to be.
Lobby. Grab your reservation for the Infinite Room first and then start exploring!
Love looking at how the “veil” connects with the building, and this little passageway on the frontside is one of the best angles.
You are greeted with a long escalator that takes you to the top floor, where you should technically start.
Tunneling up with anticipation ❤ I thought this unique entrance experience turned out exactly how the architects hoped it would be. Really feels like you transported to a destination, with a grand reveal at the top.
You pop out at the top to a light-filled, expansive gallery space.
Jeff Koons sculpture and Christopher Wool panels greet you.
Favorite new artist I learned about today was Julie Mehretu from Ethiopia. This huge painting consisting of a mix of architectural-style drawings, loose texture lines and strips of color is a commentary of Cairo, complex in past and present.
More Koons balloon animals around the corners. While his work is familiar now it still amazes me how he is able to truly mimic the qualities of a balloon with a completely contrasting material like stainless steel.
A Damien Hirst spot painting. Laid out in chronological order, the gallery space is easy to navigate and is the perfect size: lots to explore but not overwhelmingly so.
Some pieces, like this Jenny Holzer rant piece, are tucked away behind walls and play well with the structure itself.
Been starting to appreciate some artists more as I get older, like Jean-Michel Basquiat. There was one depicting a sort of scribbly self-portrait inner conflict and I thought, “wait I know how that feels…”
There are two other ways to travel through the museum, one a straight-shoot elevator cylinder and one a winding staircase that give you a peek at the museum’s vaults. Of course I had to try both haha (I want to fully experience the structure!) but that means more escalator rides anyway 😀
Looking up from the elevator, a bit trippy.
The dark stair passageway with a couple windows into the vaults.
Really impressive system.
Downstairs, more contemporary art. Dancing Black Butterflies.
Creeper couple pictures, one of my signatures 😉 but hey they match this intriguing charcoal piece, In the Realm of Mothers II by Jenny Saville.
Takashi Murakami room! Newer pieces, cool to see his work through the years. This massive painting behind me is called In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow (2014). Incredible.
Three detail shots.
The exhibit made an interesting explanation that Murakami’s work reflected the impact the Fukushima explosion had on him and the commentary he wanted to make.
Another piece. Cheerful aesthetics and morbid/dark commentary. Glad I saw these (and the Ragnar Kjartansson video installation!) before it got taken down.
Happy 🙂 We had some time to kill before our entry time for the Infinite Room (you can go in and out). The neighboring grounds are really nice for grabbing a bite to eat and relax, which makes the notorious wait not bad at all.
Finally about to enter Yayoi Kusama’s Infinite Room yay! A familiar sight on social media but still a magical experience in person. They let you in one by one and you get 45 seconds alone in the room (yes, it goes by too fast). It’s actually interesting to see the people get let in, like they are being put into a transportation room. This is still here until October, I may have to come back (btw all this is amazingly free thanks to Eli and Edythe Broad).
Obligatory Infinite Room shot. Been wanting to see it since I first saw photos of one in New York a long time ago. Was excited The Broad has one. I loved it.
Actually didn’t take any exterior shots today but this was one I took earlier this year, on a run. Some people criticize its design but I personally feel it’s a great complement to the Disney Concert Hall next door. And now I can confirm the inside is everything I hoped it’d be as well.
Now that it’s open, I’m so glad to see it is achieving everything a city and public cultural center can hope for in such a project. There are lines for this place everyday, reserved tickets were always booked up months in advance (although they’ve recently changed their policy on that), it gets people excited about contemporary art, and it gives DTLA one more destination to be proud about.
Last one: Remembering this day last fall. We attended a panel discussion at the Disney Concert Hall where The Broad’s architect, director, and Eli Broad himself discussed their vision and hopes for the new museum. One of my first dates with J actually 🙂
Really appreciate having this here. Cheers x