February 12th ~ Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles has a brand new museum – The Broad
Just opening in September 2015, it is the latest “Must See” attraction for both locals and visitors to the City of Angeles. Reservations can be done in advance through their website at http://www.thebroad.org and are highly recommended to avoid up to a several hour wait in line to get in. Last October I made reservations for us for the first opening, which was today, February 12th.
It is currently booked solid through May.
You can stand in line for “walk-up” admission, which is what our family did over the Christmas holidays. We showed up an hour before they opened. It took about two hours, shifting from one foot to the next, purchasing some junk food from a cart around the corner, and slugging down some coffee, but we did get in.
“Born in Ghana and based in Nigeria, El Anatsui crafts giant shimmering sheets from bottle caps, reused aluminum commercial packaging, copper wire, and other materials.” ~ The Broad
Admission is free, but parking is not. We parked across the street and around the corner on 1st street. It cost $18 for the day, but if you enter the lot after noon, you can park for the rest of the day for $10.
Consisting of nearly 2000 pieces of art belonging to Eli and Edythe Broad (KB Homes, Kaufman and Broad), it is considered one of the most prominent collections of postwar and contemporary art worldwide.
“Takashi Murakami is one of the most visible and important Japanese artists working today. Murakami’s influence on Japan rivals Andy Warhol’s on the United States, and he is known for disseminating and promoting pop art strategies in ways unforeseen by American critics and artists.” ~ The Broad
Nicknamed “The Veil and the Vault” in the early design and construction phase as the exterior was designed to be “porous and absorptive” like a veil which was made from 2,500 fiberglass reinforced concrete panels. The vault, is the structure itself which includes three stories, 318 skylights, 36 million pounds of concrete and 50,000 square feet of gallery space.
With it being so new, I was both surprised and saddened to see numerous cracks in the concrete flooring on the third floor of the building. I know that I was supposed to be looking at the artwork, but there was enough of it that it caught my eye.
Sitting right beside the Walt Disney Concert Hall, you can catch a glimpse of the famous neighbor through the upstairs windows.
January 2nd was our first visit. We spent around three hours inside and got a pretty good feel for the highlights. I was already familiar with several of the Jeff Koons pieces, as I had seen them many years ago I believe at the MOCA Museum.
Here is a short slide show of some of my favorites from our first visit:
There were two exhibits we did not have a chance to experience on our first visit, which was the main reason we returned today. One was the “Infinity Mirrored Room” (see below) and the other was one of the most bizarre, and also one of the most interesting exhibits. A nine projector musical presentation by Ragnar Kjartansson, called “The Visitors”. It will leave you scratching your head.
“The Visitors, 2012, features nine musicians repeating the same lyrics in various rooms at Rokeby farm in upstate New York, a decaying nineteenth-century mansion known for its romantic setting and gloomy charm. Each performer uses different instruments and plays the lyrics in their own deeply felt ways as a camera pans through the house in one long, extremely impressive sixty-four-minute take. The screens in the gallery project all at once, resulting in a collective experience for the viewer. Together, the videos create what critic Hilarie M. Sheets calls an “entirely absorbing ensemble piece that was alternately tragic and joyful, meditative and clamorous, and that swelled in feeling from melancholic fugue to redemptive gospel choir.” ~ The Broad
As you wander around the room, you can see several screens at the same time, but not all of them. Nine musicians, each playing a different instrument, in a their own individual room are each unique in their own way, ranging from an indifferent drummer, to an accordion player who couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket (yet she charms you), to a guitarist in a bedroom with a sleeping woman in bed beside him, to the creative artist himself who plays the guitar and serenades us while nude in the bathtub.
Try to catch this from the beginning which starts out with empty rooms, slowly progresses as each musician enters, they perform (kind of) together and eventually ends with all of them walking down the hill into the fields below the home.
The performers appear to be either stoned or mental patients or very relaxed or having a very bizarre afternoon gathering with friends.
You be the judge…
Use the steps coming down from the third floor to the ground floor instead of taking the elevator. The second floor is private and where a large portion of the collection is housed in a special climate controlled environment. If you take the stairs, there are a couple of strategically placed windows that allow a peak into the “vault”.
One of the current highlights is the “Infinity Mirrored Room” by artist Yayoi Kusama. This exhibit will only be here until September, so if you are interested in seeing it, here is the scoop:
- Upon entering the museum, immediately go to the kiosk in the lobby to sign up for your scheduled entry time just for this exhibit. You can NOT prebook this part of the museum.
- You will receive a text message as a reminder ten minutes before your entry time to the room.
- Only one person (or two if you want to go with companion) is allowed in at a time.
- You get 45 SECONDS (it is timed) inside the room to experience it.
- We had pre-booked our museum entrance for 11:30, so no waiting in long line outside today, but from when we signed up on indoor kiosk for Infinity Mirrored Room, until we were paged was 2 hours and 35 minutes.
Great place for lunch: Right next door in the courtyard is the Otium Restaurant. Not cheap, but we had an excellent meal. Would return in a heartbeat!
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful for the incredible diversity found in the art world. My favorite genre is probably Impressionism, but I continue to get entertained, enlightened, and educated by each new exhibit we are privileged to visit.