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My Thoughts on The Broad: A Contemporary Art Museum in the Heart of L.A.

The Broad Art Museum in Downtown LA
The Broad Museum

I love art. I love museums I would not consider myself an intellectual, I don’t feel I’m well read enough for that but I love learning and consider deep thinking a hobby. What I don’t understand are those who classify themselves as non-thinkers and think museums are people.

I might have a business degree and love working with number but I would still consider myself a creative and have a deep appreciation for the arts, the creative process and the artist. I have been around and known some truly talents artists, writers, musicians, dancers and painters. I even taught a 10-week small group based on Bill Johnson’s book Dreaming with God about the role of the Holy Spirit in the creative process.

But I must admit, the mind of an artist is unique and fascinating and wildly different than mind. The way they capture sight, sounds, emotions and memories that ferment in their soul, rising to climax, flowing onto the canvas, pages, film and instrument, a piece of their soul taking a life of its own. This is why I love going to art museums. You get to see the history, culture of civilizations, and the skill and brilliance of people who are able to create things I could never even begin to create. At least that is how I feel about most art.

And then there is contemporary art.

Enter the Broad Museum, a FREE contemporary art museum in downtown Los Angeles. Would I recommend going? Yes! I mentioned it was free didn't I?

Tip: The Broad is free but it requires an online reservation. Before the coronavirus, weekend reservations would sellout two-week out. Otherwise, you have to wait in the standby line and hope you can get in.

It is a very nice museum with some very impressive and thought-provoking piece along with some fun interactive exhibits that is well worth your time if you are and art museum type a person. People who find art museums boring are dull themselves and lack the intelligence to keep up and provide little reason to invest a relationship with such a person.

However, some, dare I say even a lot, of the art is hilariously pretentious and makes you wonder is this a joke

I am no art expert and didn’t study it in school. I enjoy being employed with no student debt. But there is something underwhelming, pretentious and downright hilarious about contemporary art. What impresses me about most art is the fact that I don’t have the imagination or skill to come up with something even close to what they created. I can create the art or something like, knowing my lack of talent is such an arena, I question it's worthiness to be in a museum. Case and point, take this beauty….

What is this?

Side note: in a bit of sad commentary on my generation, there were several individuals taking selfies and pictures of the art while STANDING IN FRONT OF THE ART. They were literally blocking the art in their photos as if they were the art. The murals and sculptures were their backdrops. The lack of awareness and narcissism is stunning, but I digress.

Then there is perhaps my favorite piece: Michael Jackson and Bubbles.

Behold and be enraptured by it's…it's…oddness yet splendor yet unsettling presence. Am I looking at him or is he looking at me? Did he just blink? Why can’t I look away or stop laughing? I cried actual tears laughing at the screenshots after my visit.

Michael Jackson and Bubbles

Take a closer look...

No, closer.

Michael Jackson and Bubbles

Now that is art!

If that doesn't make you feel some kind of way, I suggest someone check your pulse. The ability to convey deep, raw emotion, good or bad, reminds you that you are alive. The worst thing I would imagine for an artist is for their art to illicit no emotion. Indifference.

That is usually how I feel about most contemporary art, indifference. However, the Broad is an experience I definitely plan to revisit as the range of art will trigger a spectrum of delight, confusion, anger, joy and everything in between. And with new artists exhibiting regularly, there is always something new to encounter.

I just need this coronavirus to go away.

Due to the coronavirus, the Broad is closed but they are offering a virtual tour experience below.

The Broad is a contemporary art museum on Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles. The museum is named for philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad, who financed the $140 million building which houses the Broad art collections. The museum offers free general admission to its permanent collection galleries. Address: 221 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012 Phone: (213) 232-6250 Tickets: free ·
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