contemporary art

LA Adventure part 2 - Downtown LA

The only museum we visited during our trip to LA was the Broad, a contemporary art museum in the heart of Downtown. The museum itself is on the smaller side consisting of three floors with only two being used for exhibits. Tickets to the Broad itself is free, but on a first come first served basis. I had to reserve tickets and a time slot a month in advance in order to just get in! Individuals for each time slot have to wait patiently in line until they are ushered in. Then you can actually sign up for a time to visit the main attraction. 

Justin and me in the Infinity Mirrored Room.

The main attraction of the Broad at the moment is Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirrored Room. We had to wait two hours just to get in line for the room itself. The staff were very strict and everything is done electronically. When checking in, you are put on a virtual queue counting down to your opportunity to see what most people were dying to see. It is basically a 10X10' box with mirrors on all sides including the ceiling. There are various light fixtures hanging from the ceiling. Each party (usually people go in by themselves) has exactly 45 seconds to enjoy the room. The guy at the door seriously had a stopwatch. My husband and I went in together. The lights would flash every now and then and cause us to feel slightly disoriented. But when the lights would flash back on we felt like we were part of a galaxy. The background of the picture above looks like a cityscape while we are floating in space. Overall I feel like the exhibit was well worth the wait.

While waiting for the Infinity Mirrored Room, my husband and I explored the general admission exhibits. We saw some of the famous Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup paintings, beautiful paintings by Mark Tansey (a new favorite of mine), a bunch of Roy Lichtenstein pieces and many more.

Watery Ecstatic Series by Ellen Gallagher, 2004.

Another featured exhibit was called "Creature". According to the Broad website, "Ranging from artworks that examine the human body, to others that allude to a physical presence outside of the artwork itself, Creature offers an array of lenses through which to view the human experience, some scientifically based and others drawing inspiration from cultural representations of how living things change over time." There was a variety of pieces from the deranged to the adorable. To be honest, the pieces that meant to shock and awe really turned me off, which I guess was the point. There was one artist that stood out for me, her name is Ellen Gallagher. She uses a cut-paper process to portray marine life. She paints parts of her drawings bringing a sense of fantasy and whimsy that I adore.

An art piece made out of books in the Last Bookstore.

In addition to the museum, I really loved our visit to the Last Bookstore. They literally have an upstairs section of books called the labyrinth! It felt like a fun maze filled with the smell of used books. The store itself has two stories filled with books and local art. There is a comfy sitting area on the first floor with well used couches and armchairs. All over the walls were various expressions of art including an art gallery on the second floor. Tiny little shops were also located on the same floor where they sold locally made products. I highly recommend going to this bookstore if you love to read as much as I do!

I've attached more pictures of the beautiful artwork that we enjoyed viewing during our time in Downtown LA. Enjoy and be inspired!