On this day, my frond Olive and I headed to LA, city of angels, city of girls with very long fingernails, city of The Broad art museum!!!!! We did a couple other things too, but the main attraction was obviously The Broad.
(Above is my attempt at a cute handwritten title card, done with the back pages of my planner and photographed with my phone and messily cut out with my old Photoshop app. Ta da. Am I happy with it? Not really. Am I so unhappy with it that I’m willing to spend more time learning how to do it better right now? Also not really. Maybe when I’m like 72 I’ll be a self-taught PS master.)
We went to Sprinkles Cupcakes, which, if you’ve spent any time at all on Instagram, you’ve probably seen a photo of their cupcake ATMs. A basic bee’s pilgrimage, honestly lol. The writing in the ceiling circle (what an awful description, but lmk if you can think of a better way to refer to that lol) is an ice cream recipe from Benjamin Franklin, I think. How cerebral/historic/cool, right? I appreciated that.
The location we went to had both cupcakes and ice cream, and I prefer ice cream over cake so I got a cupcake sundae type thing with salted caramel ice cream and a vanilla cupcake covered with sprinkles. A word of warning – the salted caramel flavor is super fucking salty. The girl working warned me that it would be and I even tried a bit and decided I liked it, because my usual gripe with salted caramel ice cream is that there’s too much ‘caramel’ and not enough ‘salted’. I was wrong, y’all. I was so wrong. It would have been all fine and good if it were a kid’s cup of ice cream, but it was larger than I expected and after a while it just tasted like a salt water rinse had accidentally fallen into a vat of ice cream. I had a lot of feelings about it.
OK lol moving on from the ice cream tragedy, we also took a walk around the UC Irvine campus. These lockers are from the art department and the stickers say “everything is not going to be ok”, so in case you were wondering if things were going to turn out alright? They’re not.
The Broad!! Pronounced like “road”, for us non-locals. Admission is free but tickets are popular, so you can either reserve tickets online for the next month (so, for example, tickets for July are released on the 1st of June) or wait in line at the door, which is what we did. I think we got there at 9 and they opened at 10, but it wasn’t a huge deal because we just sat and chatted. I don’t mind waiting in lines too much, which I think is a bit of an uncommon feeling re: queues. I guess I look at it as an opportunity to hang out with whoever you’re with, or if you’re alone, catch up on some reading or something like that. (Obviously DMV lines etc are hell on earth – this sentiment really only applies to voluntary ‘fun’-ish lines like art museum admission.)
An infinity room! Yayoi Kusama’s famous infinity rooms were very very cool. Still undecided as to whether the strict time limits are a valuable part of the artistic experience or just annoying as hell. I didn’t take a ton of photos on my camera as I was freaked out because of the time limits, so I just kind of waved my phone around and tried to take it in.
The paid exhibition going on at that time was for Jasper Johns. We just did the free stuff.
I didn’t take a ton of photos of the art there, because 1) I was just absentminded and kept forgetting to raise my camera lol and 2) I always find myself getting annoyed at people who seem to just dart in there, click some buttons on their camera, and run off to take photos of the next thing. I think it’s very elitist of me. When we came home that night I was texting my boyfriend about it and we had a long, long conversation about that. That day at The Broad, I saw a lot of people who just posed in front of the art for a picture and then left after getting their shot. My gut reasoning is always, like, “This is amazing can you give it the attention it deserves you guys?? Instead of using it as a backdrop for your Instagram modeling????” My mom does this thing where she runs into the room, snaps pictures of every sculpture/painting in it, and then runs to the next room in 5 minutes, and I know she’s not going to look back on them or anything, so what’s the point, you know? Why not just enjoy that time and be fully present instead of looking at it through a little screen? I have a lot of feelings about this one, honestly, and I could (and have – see previous text conversation with my boyfriend lol) write 3,000 words just rambling about it, but it boils down to – I’m wrong. I’m so wrong about this one. I was fighting back when my boyfriend and I talked about it, but I actually read this blog post from Leslie at Cupcakes & Cashmere which described her experience at The Broad and how she shared my same frustrations. When I saw my feelings in someone else, it actually helped me solidify my position that I was/am wrong and need to work on shifting my stance. It’s about just allowing people to do whatever the hell they want to do with art, you know? Everyone experiences everything in their own way, and it’s unfair of me to demand everyone experience artwork in the way I want them to just because I think it’s the right way to do so. I have spent thirty minutes staring at some paintings and sometimes I cry looking at them; they give me a lot of feelings! Lol. But I also never listen to music rapturously; I only put it on when I’m doing something else, like showering or running or studying. It’s never just a thing I do in and of itself and it’s not something I feel super duper strongly for. Both my little brother and my boyfriend are really into music, and they have this interest and love for it that I don’t understand, so I guess that’s how they must feel regarding me + my feels with visual art. It would suck if they got mad at me for enjoying the music I enjoy, so in the same way, it’s not right for me to police how others experience art. Also the trendiness of art museums/galleries now means they’re hopefully getting more funding so I can get to see more stuff myself!!!
That was really long lol sorry guys. Got a lot of feels about that one. TL;DR I got annoyed people were taking photos of themselves + the art rather than just annoying the art. I think that was a shitty thing to think and I shouldn’t be policing how people interact with art. Working on it. OK MOVING ONNNN
Barbara Kruger speaking a timeless truth, #RepealThe8th being the latest example
Honestly y’all, I meant to do this photo diary a lot sooner when I would have remembered what all this art was lol. But I don’t! So 😕 But this was Jenny Holzer’s “Inflammatory Essays”.
This train is also by Jeff Koons, but much lesser known than his balloon pieces obviously. I thought it was more interesting though! The train contains Jim Beam, the liquor, and the work is supposed to focus on “the discord between the marketing of alcohol as a luxury product […] and the often destructive, ugly, and unintended effects of drinking”. (I like to take photos on my phone of the descriptive plaques lol and I try to revisit them to remember interesting tidbits.)
This is the last of the photos I took of artwork, but there were so many amazing pieces there on show and I honestly don’t have photos of most of the ones that I really enjoyed. Chuck Close’s hyper realistic painting was one that I stared at for, like, fifteen minutes (could have stayed longer tbh but we were on a time budget) and Mark Tansey’s blue “Wake” painting has a hidden face in the wake!! I liked John Ahearn’s sculpture of Raymond and Toby a lot; I always like work that shows real people and real communities, especially underrepresented and often marginalized communities like the Bronx. I LOVED Jenny Saville’s “Strategy” and Takashi Murakami’s super long piece that wraps around the wall of Jeff Koons’ flowers.
Eventually we left to get some foooooood.
The exterior is so interesting to look at, too!
We decided to go to Grand Central Market to eat and got lost a couple times before we finally made it and were promptly flabbergasted by the sheer amount of choices.
Eventually we decided on tacos + BBQ + ice cream. I got salted caramel again, because that’s one of my favorite ice cream flavors, and it turned out MUCH BETTER than Sprinkles!! McConnell’s salted caramel > Sprinkles salted caramel. Ya heard it here first.
The Last Bookstore was a short walk away, so we headed there for a quick look before scampering back home. I honestly only know this place from Jeopardy lol bc one episode the bf and I watched had a ‘literary LA’ category, so this place was the setting for all the clues.
It was really cute! Not very bright, so I’m not sure why so many people were reading there.
What a fun display, right? How long must that have taken??
Oh we went to this coffeeshop in Costa Mesa, Coffee Nature, to get some breakfast + werk done too at some point. The girl sitting at the armchair in front of us had a random conversation with an older lady who sat down briefly and I totally eavesdropped because she was talking about her PLANNER!! I Googled it afterwards (I can’t find it now ) and it was, like, $50 y’all. :O
And just like that, I was gone! Sprang break was over and I was back home. (JetBlue is great btw, in case y’all are wondering. 10 out of 10 would rec.) Thanks for reading/looking if u made it this far 🙂