This week’s Secret of SoCal is The Broad Museum.
Located in Downtown Los Angeles, The Broad Museum (pronounced like road with a B) is a contemporary art museum that was opened by philanthropist Eli Broad in September of last year. This $140 million museum is home to the eclectic mix of art pieces that were created by artists from all over the world.
The Broad Museum is an art piece in itself; walking along Grand Avenue, I admired the unique exterior thats detail was visible from across the street. According to the Los Angeles Times, in the summer of 2010, Eli Broad had six different architects present preliminary plans for the museum. Four out of the six of these architects had previously won the Pritzker Prize, demonstrating how competitive this potential job was. Ultimately, a firm from New York, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, was the architecture firm chosen.
There are two ways to attend The Broad Museum; you can reserve tickets online or you can wait in the standby line. In October of 2015, I reserved tickets for the first available opening…in the first week of January 2016. I went to The Broad on a Sunday and it was packed! The standby line was so long that it wrapped around the side of the building, only moving every half hour or so. A positive about having a reservation was that the staff was really timely on letting us in. However, the later your reservation, the less likely you’ll be able to see Yayoi Kusama’s, Mirrored Room; this room sells out early in the day and waiting time can be anywhere up to five hours.
The Broad houses over 2,000 pieces of art from approximately 250 artists. Although each art piece told its own beautiful story, there were four art pieces that stood out to me the most. One of the art pieces I loved was Robert Therrien’s Under The Table, 1994. Therrien takes everyday objects, such as a table and chairs, and creates an “Alice in Wonderland” sense of nostalgia. Because the table was so large, I immediately was inclined to walk under it. This triggered my favorite childhood memories of playing under the table at my grandparent’s house. This emotional memory is exactly what Therrien wanted to trigger.
Barbara Kruger’s Untitled (Your body is a battleground) was an art piece intended to address media and politics in their “native” tabloid-like manner. Her message was crafted during a time when there were new antiabortion laws that went against the Wade v Roe Supreme Court decision from 1973. The artist’s intended purpose for this piece was to show how women were split by positive and negative exposure.
Needless to say, Jeff Koons’ Tulips was an immediate favorite of mine. This massive steel masterpiece, created in the 1990s and early 2000s, is one of Koons’ most popular pieces. There are five different versions of the tulips, one belonging to The Broad. In total, The Broad has 34 of Koons’ artworks, including Michael Jackson and Bubbles, Balloon Dog, and Kiepenkerl. One of my favorite aspects about his art is the life-size feel of each masterpiece. His works sell for a substantial amount of money and even set the world record for sales of work by a living artist at $33.7 million.
Last but not least, I was drawn to look at the Double America 2 art piece because my name makes up five of the seven letters. However, after reading Glenn Ligon’s intended message about this work, a whole new perspective arose. The slight flashing lights on the America signs were intended to represnet the uncertainty of African Americans in America. Ligon’s art work engages in intertextuality along with visual work, history, personal experience, and literature.
The aspect I loved most about contemporary art is how at first glance, it can mean something totally different to everyone. Learning more about these amazing artists was not only interesting, but also extremely educational. Be sure to check out The Broad Museum in Downtown Los Angeles to learn more about contemporary art and these fascinating artists.
Check back next week for another Secret of SoCal.
And remember- Take Care of This Moment