TAAGLAA: Grand Avenue’s Newest Treasure

By Isabel Barbera
Staff Writer

Photo by Thomas Forman

I have been anticipating the opening of LA’s newest contemporary art museum, The Broad, ever since I saw its ambiguous foundation being laid nearly one year ago. So when my mom announced she had secured nine tickets (which are free to the public) it is needless to say I was ecstatic. Accompanied by my family and trusted accomplices Maya and Katia, I headed downtown on a warm Sunday evening bursting with excitement.

The Broad (pronounced brode), we found, is situated adjacent to the infamous Walt Disney Concert Hall. Boasting a stark white perforated exterior, the futuristic building is a work of art in itself. Upon breaching the undoubtedly cave-like entrance area, Maya, Kati and I determined that its underground inspired interior was just as impressive.  Navigating the maze of white walls and excited patrons we treated our eyes to a myriad of pieces, including a massive Takashi Murakami mural and one of my personal favorites, Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson’s nine screen video installation. Eventually we decided it was time to ascend upwards to the third floor.

The first thing we noticed as we emerged from the escalator was the ceiling, or lack thereof. Entirely covered in skylights, the gallery has a very intentional soft, natural light. The three of us wandered through rooms filled with 1960s Pop art, admired a select few of Keith Haring’s vibrant 80s masterpieces, stood under Robert Therrian’s giant-sized table and chairs set, and stopped to take a selfie in Jeff Koons’ reflective stainless steel tulips (until we were politely asked to step away by a staff member).

Eventually closing time approached and the crowd began to slowly funnel down the tunnel-like escalator and out the front door onto Grand Avenue. After sneaking in a few quick rides up and down the cylindrical glass elevator, the three of us met up with the rest of our group, and headed out. All unexpectedly ravenous, we decided to culminate the evening with Ooey Gooey Fries and spicy asian fusion rice bowls at Chego in Chinatown. On the way home later that night I fell soundly asleep, satiated from both the long day and the huge portions at Chego.

Metro Trip to The Broad:

  1. Board Metro Gold Line at Mission Station heading to East LA
  2. Get off at Union Station
  3. Transfer to Red or Purple Line
  4. Get off at Civic Center/Grand Park Station