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Inside the new Broad Art Museum

February 7, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
The Broad Contemporary Art Museum, L.A.'s newest museum, is about to open to the public, and it's filled with eye-popping sculpture and paintings.Eyewitness News got a personal preview from Eli Broad, the billionaire philanthropist who financed the new museum.

They're calling it "BCAM" -- The Broad Contemporary Art Museum -- and the crowds turned out for this preview of the new Renzo Piano-designed building. It's part of the L.A. County Museum of Art.

"I believe that Los Angeles can become the contemporary art capital of the world," said Eli Broad at the preview.

Take a tour with the billionaire philanthropist whose vision made it happen -- Eli Broad -- and Michael Govan, the County Museum's director.

First stop, the Jeff Koons galleries.

"This fabulous, red broken egg was such a perfect symbol of the birth of a new museum, if you will," said Govan. "And it's kind of fantastic -- you see not only yourself reflected, you see the rest of the art work is reflected."

Next, to the photographic gallery of Cindy Sherman. She is often the subject in her own photographs.

"She is the subject of all these photographs," said Broad. "And it's amazing how she can make herself up. It was great art. It was almost performance art on film."

Is it just coincidence that Sherman's clown holds a balloon dog that reminds us of the Koons piece?

At ground level, Richard Serra's monumental band sculpture, so big, we talk inside of it.

"It's a great experience," said Broad. "You feel as if the walls are moving, and so on. And what Richard Serra has done in torquing steel, in doing something of this scale is really a triumph."

The Eli and Edythe L. Broad Foundation funded the sculpture and the $56-million museum. The fact that the rest of the contents are on loan and not a gift now seems to be working out fine.

"The idea is that we would have pick of the litter," said Govan. "That we could take whatever we needed from the collections."

"What we're doing is letting LACMA pick whatever they want to show," said Broad.

The Hollywood sign is visible, framed by the entrance to BCAM, and it, as much as everything in the museum, establishes this as the kind of museum that could only be in one place -- Los Angeles.

 

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