A wave of artists, collectors, and gallery owners is flooding into the city of Los Angeles and transforming it. You can see it just by walking around the city centre: long gone are the times when its streets lacked life and became ghettos at night. Nowadays these same streets are the heart of the artistic avant-garde that simply must be visited.
In the heart of the Downtown district, the recently opened Broad Museum brings together close to 2,000 pieces by American pop art artists such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. The facade of the building, signed by the architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, is reminiscent of a titanium honeycomb. Inside this fibreglass and steel giant, you can feel the sensation of infinity. For example, in the ‘Infinity Mirrored Room’ installation by the artist Yayoi Kusama, where the singer Katy Perry was photographed on her birthday.
The recently opened Broad Museum brings together close to 2,000 pieces by American pop art artists such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein.
Less than a hundred metres away is the striking red outline of MOCA Grand Avenue, the main gallery of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. This original construction by the architect Arata Isozaki marked the beginning of a new cultural era for the city in the middle of the 1980s; one of the symbols of this period being the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the titanium building designed by Frank Gehry.
There is even room for contemporary art in Beverly Hills, the district where lavish mansions and luxury boutiques live side-by-side. A forest of streetlights welcomes you to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). This is the legendary work ‘Urban Light’, which thousands of tourists are photographed next to every day, leaving a record of their visit on Instagram. Once you have passed through this strange forest, other surprises await you. These include the ‘Rain Room’ installation, where science, art and technology come together to allow you to walk in the rain whilst in the city of eternal summer.
On the way to the Santa Monica coast is another point of interest for lovers of contemporary art in the metropolitan area: Bergamot Station Arts Center. It takes its name from an old railway station that used to connect Los Angeles to Santa Monica Pier. Nowadays it is home to several art galleries and other installations that receive 600,000 visitors a year.
And the truth is, art isn’t just found in museums in the art capital of the West Coast; you can also find brilliant pieces of art spread all over the city. In the NoHo Arts District, in North Hollywood, a multicultural district where the artistic community has settled, or the eclectic Chinatown area, for example. These are booming areas, welcoming a new gallery every day. That’s because if the wonderful city of Los Angeles has one thing, despite perhaps being known as ‘the most superficial city in the world’, it is the fact that it welcomes new artists and the most cutting-edge movements without prejudice.