Visiting The Broad Museum

May 12, 2017

Earlier this semester, I visited The Broad Museum in downtown LA. They had an exhibit called “Creature,” and it was about how humans interact, how we are similar to yet different from animals, and about artists expressing the raw “creature” within them.

I had been wanting to go for a long time ever since I heard about Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored RoomIt’s a special exhibit and you have to reserve a spot on the day-of (be prepared to wait in line for at least an hour), but it’s mostly worth it. You go inside a room that looks like it goes on forever. You’re standing on a small platform in the middle of dark water all around you, mirrors on the sides of the wall and millions of small LED lights reflecting off of the water and the mirror. It’s surreal and infinite. Just don’t look up at the ceiling because it might break the illusion (it did for me, but I still enjoyed the beauty of the exhibit). Everyone spends only 45 seconds to a minute in there, but when you’re in the room it feels like an eternity.

Their featured installation was the large, approximately 30 foot, sculpture of an imposing, powerful human. However, the man(?) looked rather ominous and seemed to carry a burden on his shoulders, to me. I think this exhibit was all about perspective – who we are changes depending on how we look at ourselves. For example, the wonderful painting of soldiers on horseback at the top of this blog post was upside down.  The horses seemed like they were stuck together but it was hard to tell. I wonder if the artist painted it upside-down or was it just hung upside down on purpose? I’m certain that was not a mistake. I enjoyed craning my neck to look at the painting and try to understand what it was saying. If the world was turned upside-down the southern Hemisphere would be the northern Hemisphere and everything would be topsy-turvy.

However, I think it’s good to turn things upside-down every once in a while, whether it’s switching the axes of a graph to understand the data better or changing the variables in a research experiment or simply cleaning out your backpack!

The foam installation had a mouth and legs and hands that would show up at odd places on the white, soft clay-like media. It used a projector to move light around and to project those images. I liked the combination of science and art to make us think. It reminded me of an amoeba if an amoeba had consciousness.

I also liked the metaphysical aspect of an artist painting his head and putting a picture of himself taking a selfie inside that head. It depicts the self-absorbed world we live in and the inner turmoil we sometimes face when using social media. We get inside our own heads and reality versus curated story becomes blurry. It was also just funny! Plus, seeing a smartphone in a painting at a well-respected art exhibit was reminiscent of Andy Warhol painting a soup can (which was also in the exhibit!).

Lastly, the architecture of The Broad museum was also beautiful and fun. It felt like what a modern art museum should look like. Overall, it was a fabulous experience and it made me think. Isn’t that what art is supposed to do after all?

Published on May 12th, 2017

Last updated on August 16th, 2018