The Broad Opens Its Inaugural Exhibition – Part Two

"In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow", 2014
“In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow”, 2014

Downstairs on the 1st floor of the Broad is a recent body of work by the Superflat movement leader Takashi Murakami (@takashipom).  There are other works on the first floor, but it is largely dominated by the works of Murakami.  The common motif in these works is the catastrophic 2011 earthquake and tsunami off the Pacific coast of Tohoku in Japan.  The emotions and devastations felt as the aftermath of the disaster overtook the livelihood of the Japanese people served as an artistic inspiration for Murakami.









A 82 ft long and 10 ft tall masterwork completed in 2014 by the artist took up two full walls of the large hall.  It told a beautiful story of a mischievous sea god that caused numerous deaths and the survivors that braved through the storm on the sea finally meet prosperity and peace.  However, the prosperity and peace lead to greed and gluttony that foretells another disaster soon to come.  I tried to capture that story in the set of pictures after the break:

Read more

Mangchi Music Video – “Gook Boy”

When Mangchi released the album “Nega Mola” back in September, 2014, I downloaded it immediately and played it in my car over and over again.  I couldn’t get enough.  “Gook Boy” could easily be the personal story of struggle of the lead vocalist for the band, Steebeeweebee (@quangou).  The music video for the song has been finally released with this press release:

From the warehouses and brothels of some mangled mountainside our hero Steve Lee scours the scorched earth searching for the one and only GookBoy: Peter Tong. You’ve seen him everywhere, wearing a mini-backpack, carrying way too many books, waving his long bangs that block his looks; with glasses that magnify his eyes and his eyes almost every time clogged with the membranes of mucus from tears shed earlier. You might call him a nerd; we call him the cure. This isn’t some sorry meditation, this is Mangchi- we’re goth, we’re sensitive and most of us are close to 40 years old if we haven’t already gotten there. Point being it’s never too late to love yourself and we mean more than touching. Don’t forget to fret and remember to remember that there is no one that can do anything for you. You have to work. And never stop.

Directed and Edited by Paco Raterta. Shot by Lulu and Jason Jaworski. Additional footage by Czar Campos and Paco Raterta. Special Thanks Christian Acuña, Genevieve Iñumerable, Vanessa Ulgado and Jessica Yang.

The Broad Opens Its Inaugural Exhibition- Part One

The view as you step off the escalator to the main exhibition area on the 3rd floor
The view as you step off the escalator to the main exhibition area on the 3rd floor

The Broad is a new contemporary art museum built by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad.  The museum is home to nearly 2,000 works of art and holds one of the most prominent collections of postwar and contemporary art worldwide” exclaim the museum’s brochures that were handed out to the attendees in bold, black, capitalized letters.  Angelenos came out in droves today to finally catch a glimpse of the billion dollar collection that was promised to the city back in 2010 when Eli officially announced that the Broad (rhymes with road, not rod) museum would be opening in Downtown Los Angeles.

The Broad_exterior rendering

The “veil and vault” architecture of the museum was designed by the esteemed firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, who are no strangers to designing high art institutes (for example Boston ICA, MoMA expansion, and Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive).  The vault refers to the carefully temperature and humidity controlled archive where the Broad Foundation conducts all its lending activities of its collection to outside organizations.  You can catch a glimpse of the vault here.

A glimpse into the "vault"
A glimpse into the “vault”

As you might expect from a museum inaugural exhibition, they played it very safe.  There’s nothing challenging, provocative, or educating about it, but plenty of familiar names and images of contemporary art are abound:  Damien Hirst, Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, John Baldessari, Julian Schnabel, Andry Warhol, Roy Lichenstein, Jeff Koon, Takashi Murakami, Ed Ruscha, Barbara Kruger, Christopher Wool, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, and Kara Walker.

It is designed to draw crowds and Instagram picture tags, rather than to push the boundaries of modern art exhibition for which this opening could have been used.  I don’t think the Broad needed to cater to populist tastes to draw attendance given that the Broad name carries such prominence in the art world.  However, this exhibition does speak volumes about the vision and persistence of the Broad collection to recognize and build the talent of these artists before they had become household names.  The Broad is a collection that continuously grows at a pace of approximately one new work per week, so I’m really excited that Eli and Edythe have decided to share it with the public in this fashion.  Although this museum wasn’t built on pure philanthropy, given that museum shows will only help appreciate the value of the collection, and I couldn’t care less about the business practices of Eli Broad, this is a leading contemporary art collection that Los Angeles has been very fortunate to gain.

In Part Two, we’ll go to the exhibition area on the 1st Floor of the museum that showcases works by the Japanese artist Takashi Murakami.

Click through to see 100+ pictures from the opening.

Read more

Huge Turnout for Aaron Horkey, Esao Andrews, and Joao Ruas’s Exhibition “The Gilded Age” @ Thinkspace Gallery



What a turnout for Thinkspace Gallery’s newest sold-out exhibition, a three-man show by Aaron Horkey, Esao Andrews, and Joao Ruas titled “The Gilded Age”.  A line to enter the show started forming around 5:30pm and by start of the show at 6pm the line was easily 60 people strong.  The line continued for the remainder of the night.

Aaron Horkey and Joao Ruas each brought 9 new works for the show, and Esao brought 8 new works, including a massive 48″x36″ piece, the largest piece in the room.  Not only in the artworks themselves, but the attention to detail in the presentation (Aaron Horkey painstakingly lettered the title under each piece by hand)  could hardly go unnoticed.  There’s a lot of pictures to be shared so I’m going let the pictures do the talking.

Click through the link to view 48 pictures from the show.

Read more

Anthony Lister’s “Mad Props Street Cred” Brings the Street to the Gallery @ New Image Art



Lister’s first solo show in US in three years opened last night at New Image Art in West Hollywood.  The Australian street artist was in attendance, lots of Angeleno art fans came out to party, and, of course, free booze, provided by House Beers (which was a surprisingly good beer), always helps.  It was a truly multi-media event: sculptures, an installation mimicking the artist’s roaming street studio, a video installation that brought one of his paintings to life, and numerous new pieces on canvas were strewn across the gallery floor and walls.  The show is open until October 10th.

Click through the post to find more pictures from the opening.

Read more

10 Tips for New Non-millionaire Art Collectors

Museum-goers crowd around "American Gothic" by Grant Wood @ the Art Institute of Chicago
Museum-goers crowd around “American Gothic” by Grant Wood @ the Art Institute of Chicago

Recently, Artnet posted an article “10 Tips for Newly Minted Tech Millionaire Art Collectors” for overnight tech millionaires that are looking to park their money in art collections.  Some of the tips Artnet provides apply to a collector at any level but I thought I could build a better “10 tips” list for us ordinary folks who didn’t get a chance to invest early in unicorns.

Let me preface the list with this:  I have been a collector for most of my life, 7 years in art collecting specifically in which I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars to fuel the addiction.  As you could tell from the blog, my collection is largely based on street art, containing some familiar names like Craola (@craola), David Choe (@davidchoe), Faile (@faileart), Kaws (@kaws) and Shepard Fairey (@obeygiant).

Without further ado, here are my 10 tips for new non-millionaire art collectors.

1.  Don’t treat your collection as an investment portfolio.

The thing that makes art collecting so sexy is the money, and it’s quickly becoming a popular asset class among the mega-rich.  An index of fine art sales from 2013 showed a 10% average annual return on art funds since 1985.  On a micro-level, if you visit art communities like Expressobeans, it’s not uncommon to find prints that sell for 2-3x retail only a few hours after release.  With returns like that, who wouldn’t want to collect art?

The truth is, these data are completely skewed.  Statistically speaking, you are more likely to lose money on your art investment than to see any gains from it.  I’ve bought a lot of art, both prints and originals, that instantly lost money as soon as I walked out of the gallery with it.  You, as a private collector, simply cannot command the same price as a gallery or an artist could, and they are the experts at maximizing their profits (Of course, exceptions like Eli Broad exist, who is opening The Broad Museum, which will basically be a rotating display of his billion dollar collection that will only grow in value with each showing).  A Stanford study from 2013 found that art as an asset class “would not substantially improve the risk/return profile of a portfolio diversified among traditional asset classes, such as stocks and bonds.”  With that said, read on to find tip #2 and more.

Read more

Banksy’s Dismaland News (using a new blogging platform, Pressimus)


Yesterday, I serendipitously ran into an exciting and emerging “social live-publishing/story-telling/live-blogging” platform that I think will solve the most important problem that all bloggers are trying to overcome: to push out as many quality posts as you can, as quickly and as efficiently as possible.  The solution may be Pressimus.  Below is an example of a Pressimus press (that’s what these micro-blog posts are called in the world of Pressimus) that I wrote in less than 5 minutes using the simple drag and drop tools, as well as its super useful functionality to search any social media directly in the platform.  That’s how I found every single video, articles, and Instagram pictures in the press below.  You can also easily embed the press into your own blog by simply copying and pasting a short line of code into the text of a regular post.

Please check it out and tell us what you think, especially if you’re a blogger yourself.




Art Openings in Los Angeles, Sept. 11th Weekend

Aaron Horkey, Esao Andrews, and Joao Ruas @ Thinkspace Gallery in Culver City
Aaron Horkey, Esao Andrews, and Joao Ruas @ Thinkspace Gallery in Culver City

There’s a quite a few exciting show openings in Los Angeles next weekend.  BDAB will be in attendance for at least a couple of these, so drop me a line in the comments if you’re going too.

Gilded Age @ Thinkspace Gallery.  Saturday, September 12th, 6-9pm

6009 Washington Blvd. Culver City, CA 90232

Andrew Horkey, Esao Andrews, Joao Ruas

Don’t call it a group show.  It is a three-man exhibition between Aaron Horkey (@aaronhorkey), Esao Andrews (@esao), and Joao Ruas (@feral_kid).  The idea for this show first came about back in 2012 when Thinkspace Gallery’s head honcho Andrew Hosner (@thinkspace_art) casually asked Andrew Horkey about his ideal three-man show, to which Horkey quickly named off Esao and Joao.  Each of these artists have been heavily promoting the show with teasers of works-in-progress and it’s looks like it’ll easily be the show of the year in Los Angeles.  Be sure to sign up for Thinkspace’s email list or follow them on social media for more information.


Mad Props Street Cred @ New Image Art. Friday, September 11th, 7-10pm

7920 Santa Monica Blvd. West Hollywood, CA 90046

Anthony Lister

This is the first solo exhibition in United States since 2012 of the self-proclaimed “adventure painter” Anthony Lister (@anthonylister).  The Australian street artist has been busy on the streets of LA in the last week hitting up walls to promote the show.  New Image Art (@newimageart) knows how to throw a party, so it should be a good show to attend if you’re not doing much this Friday.  Even if you are, this will probably be better, so go to the show anyways.


Trapezoid @ KP Projects/Merry Karnowsky Gallery.  Saturday, September 12th, 7-10pm

170 S La Brea Ave Los Angeles, CA

Mark Whalen

Mark Whalen (@mark_whalen) is another Australian artist showing in Los Angeles next weekend.  Merry Karnowsky (@kpprojectsmkg) has been kind to the BDAB collection in the last few years, although they probably don’t even know it.  From the looks of it, Mark is preparing a large installation, much akin to the large scale outdoor work he’s done in the past.


It’s going to be a fun weekend.  See you guys at the shows!