The Broad – LA’s Newest Treasure

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Spencer Lowell/Bloomberg

Samuel Gerstein, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Awesome!

The only word needed to encapsulate LA’s new contemporary art museum but not enough to describe the sheer beauty of this magical place. The simple architecture of the building itself is stunning but what’s inside is even more amazing.

The idea for this palace of art started in 2008 by Eli Broad and his art company, The Broad Art Foundation, when he realized that his art collection had become so big he needed to make it into a museum. After years of debate over where the location of this extravagant museum should be located, it was finally decided that The Broad should be located in downtown Los Angeles adjacent to famous Los Angeles landmarks such as the Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Mark Taper Forum, and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. After five years of construction by a team of architects from New York, this whimsical building was finally completed and ready to be unveiled . On September 20, 2015, with his wife Edythe by his side, Eli Broad exhibited his masterpiece, The Broad Museum, to the public.

When you walk through the entrance, you are immediately greeted by a very friendly staff and an interesting piece of artwork consisting of some very large plates. After you enter, you are given the opportunity to reserve a spot to wait in line for Yoyai Kusama’s  Infinity Mirrored Room—The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away, a room that gives the viewer the optical illusion of having an unlimited amount of mirrors while all it is a manipulated light show. In my opinion, this attraction is a waste of time. The Broad wants you to wait 4 hours for a measly 30 second experience, so I decided to take a pass on this one.

On the second floor is the Broad’s private collection, which can be seen through a small glass window and what is inside is possibly 10 times the amount of artwork than is displayed on the many walls of this ultra-modern museum. This level is massive, but you are not really able to see the art inside because they are all on some sort of metal sliding shelves. So although this level is accessible to the public, it is not a necessity to go there. To get to the 3rd level where all the artwork is, you have the option of taking the futuristic clear elevator, which if you are claustrophobic is not the best idea because the glass ceiling and floor may make you uncomfortable. The escalator is like a portal to an avant garde wonderland. Through a stone tunnel that surrounds you as you escalate to the top floor, the visitor is transported to a different world.

The Broad houses over 2,000 works of contemporary art, although most are kept in the second level, and all are visually stunning. There are many famous artists that are displayed, some of whom are the most influential in the art world, from Keith Haring to the supremely famous Andy Warhol and the wonderful pop art done by Roy Lichtenstein, I guarantee that there is an artist that everyone will love. Although Andy Warhol is my favorite artist of all time, my favorite piece of all is done by Mike Kelley and is called “Infinite Expansion”. This piece displays what seems to be a swirl of infinite cosmic lines leading to a very small suburban home that is almost not visible unless it is really concentrated upon. From gargantuan acrylic sculptures of bright blue metal balloon dogs to displays of photography depicting everyday life, there is anything and everything to find at The Broad.

Due to the museum’s extraordinary popularity, tickets are difficult to reserve. Although the museum is free to everyone, the wait for tickets is drastically long. If you reserve tickets today, the next time they have availability is possibly two or more months away. Even if you don’t reserve tickets, the public is given the option to go down to the Broad and wait in a line in the hope that someone who has reserved tickets doesn’t show up. I would greatly not recommend doing this because the chances of getting in this way are extremely low; so go on the website and reserve your tickets right now! The Broad is an enchanting house of art that everyone should experience.