The kids had a bunch of days off from school recently because of holidays and the New Year and what not. I was trying to think of things to do with them when my brother suggested we meet him in Downtown L.A. for an urban hike and The Broad — the newest contemporary art museum in L.A.
The day of our adventure, we met Uncle Michael and he took C.J. and Chase on the urban hike while Matt and I waited in line to get into The Broad with Grandma Colorado (who was in town visiting and agreed to go even though she doesn’t “know anything about that kind of art”). I’m not going to lie, that line is not short. If you’re better than us at things like preparing and planning ahead, check out their website for tickets.
Uncle Michael led Chase and C.J. on a tour around the Walt Disney Concert Hall, where Chase – a possible future architect– admired the work and took lots of photos. They saw a bunch of other stuff too, but I can’t remember it all now because I was too busy standing in line at the time.
As soon as we entered the doors of The Broad we were instantly mesmerized by the cave-like interior and stack of massive white dinner plates that was taller than any of us. It was well worth the two-hour wait.
We went upstairs and saw Tulips by Jeff Koons. They look like a giant bouquet of tulips made out of balloons. (I’m horrible at describing art. I’m sorry. Forgive me, Mr. Koons; my sons love you.)
C.J. made me take a picture of the sculpture from every angle and asked if he could have it for his room. I said no and crushed his dreams.
When we entered the next room, C.J. lost his breath. There before him was an honest to goodness Andy Warhol work of art. It was Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Can (Clam Chowder – Manhattan Style). It looks like a painting of a soup can. (Maybe I’m not so bad at describing art after all.)
He made me take forty-eleven pictures of him in front of the soup can and all the other Warhols.
Then, C.J. made me take a picture of Tips for Artists Who Want to Sell by John Baldessari because, after all, C.J. is an artist and wants to sell. (His New Year’s resolution is to become a working artist who gets paid. When I said maybe his resolution should be to memorize his multiplication tables he rolled his eyes.)
C.J. was also super excited to see originals by another of his favorite artists, Keith Haring. He noticed that Haring’s works had “lots of boobs and private parts” in them and assured me that he’s not going to draw or paint private parts until he’s a little older. Like maybe fifth grade.
As we walked through one room, C.J. nonchalantly (and embarrassingly) pointed to three paintings by one artist and said, “I could paint that. I could paint that. I could paint that.”
“Yeah. But you didn’t,” Uncle Michael said to him before I could think of what to say. Sometimes Uncle Michael is better at dealing with C.J.’s sassiness than I am. (Because Uncle Michael can be just as sassy.)
C.J. believed that Andy Warhol’s works would be his favorites in The Broad, until he arrived in Takashi Murakami’s room.
“O.M.G. Take a picture of EVERYTHING!” he said. I did as I was instructed and filled up my entire camera roll.
“I’m going to have my art in that museum someday,” C.J. said as we left. I told him that that would be awesome.
“I’m going to have my birthday party at The Broad,” he said. I told him that wasn’t true.
He’s been creating more art than ever since that day. He’s been mixing and naming his own paint colors. He adds baby powder to some paint to give it texture and smell. (Is that a brilliant idea or a horrible idea? I have no idea.) And he painted a Campbell’s Tomato Soup Can for Uncle Michael as a reminder of that special day.
***C.J. plans on live-tweeting/facebooking his thoughts on the red carpet looks of the 2016 Golden Globes (this Sunday). Tune in. I apologize in advance for what may come out of his mouth. #CJsays