As far as art goes, Eli and Edythe Broad rule LA (by the way, Broad is  pronounced BROH-de like ‘yo bro’). The billionaire-philanthropist couple has been buying up important works of modern and contemporary art since the 1970s, and ever since then they have been generous in lending out those pieces to museums and exhibitions. However, the opening of this museum marks a special occasion as they have decided to showcase their personal collection to the public.

The Broad, located in Downtown Los Angeles, opened its doors to the public on September 20th, 2015. And I, as your resident ride-or-die art enthusiast, was able to score the insider’s look and do the busy work so that you could have the best visit ever. Here is a breakdown of what you need to know about this new museum.

The Tickets 

Oh boy. So, ticketing to this museum is free (thanks Eli and Edythe!) and can be reserved in advance here. However, all online tickets have been reserved through mid-October. BUT! Worry not, because that is not the only way to get into the museum.

If you are ready to work a little bit, you can get to the museum door early in order to pick up a standby ticket (limited numbers available). I did this at 7:45AM on a Sunday morning because suburbia has dulled me and I jumped at the chance to feel alive again I care about you, dear reader, and wanted to make absolute sure that I got a ticket on opening day so that I can tell you all about it.

The tickets are grouped into half-hour time slots. Mine was for the 10:30AM entrance and I would highly suggest you to go no later than 11AM if you want to make the Yayoi Kusama exhibition in good time.

The Building

The Broad Museum. Exterior Shot. A beautiful building by Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

 

The Art

I felt very happy amongst these galleries. Many works were familiar to me since the Broads have a habit of lending them out to other museums. The lighting was exquisite and the space vast. There were quite a few well-known pieces:

Jeff Koons, Blue Balloon Dog. 1994-2000

Jeff Koons, Balloon Dog (Blue), 1994-2000. Mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating.

 BasquiatRoomful of Jean-Michel Basquiat. I feel like this could definitely be a Jay Z lyric.
Murakami

Murakami, In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow, 2014. Acrylic on canvas.

murakami_2
Murakami, In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow, 2014. Acrylic on canvas.This is a huge mural. It runs 25 meters across (80 feet) and it has great detail work. I believe it was commissioned especially for this museum.
One of the aspects that I really appreciated about this exhibition was how it struck a great balance between the popular and the obscure. It is a show that unabashedly displays its roomfuls of Koons, Murakami, and Basquiat while still retaining quieter niche pieces, like these works by Cy Twombly:
Cy Twombly - The Rose

Cy Twombly, The Rose (V), 2008. Acrylic on wood panel.

The most popular work at the Broad is, of course, Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Room. In fact, this is usually the most popular work at any exhibition. This room, back in 2013, inspired a mob outside of David Zwirner on its last day and people waited in the New York cold for up to five hours just to catch a 45-second glimpse of it. Thankfully, the Broad came up with a better management system than a physical queue. You make your reservation to the room with your cellphone number, and within 10 minutes of your reservation, the system texts you. My wait time was about an hour, which gave me the perfect amount of time to roam the two floors of art.

infinity_room_photo

Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away, Yayoi Kusama, 2013. Wood, metal, glass mirrors, plastic, acrylic panel, rubber, LED lighting system, acrylic balls, and water.

This is my second time seeing the Infinity Room, and I must say that the pictures are often more beautiful than the experience itself. 45 seconds is not nearly enough time to enjoy it, and typically you will spend all of it taking photos. I wish that I could’ve spent a few minutes in there.

Overall, the Broad is a solid museum and it is worth a morning of strolling through if you happen to be around the LA area. Additionally, MOCA is offering a free year of membership and a free Lemonade soda if you present your Broad ticket!
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