“Los Angeles, as you know, is a home of great artists," says Eli Broad, the billionaire philanthropist behind the dazzling new Broad Museum in Downtown Los Angeles. On Thursday night, those great artists appeared in droves—L.A. legends John Baldessari and Ed Ruscha among them—along with the Hollywood set, and 800-or-so other guests in black tie and floor-length gowns, to inaugurate the new space with a proper party.
At the museum, which the city’s mayor Eric Garcetti has dubbed the "crown atop the hill," the VIPs got an early start on what the public certainly will do at official opening on Sunday—that is, pose for selfies with the extraordinary, large-scale artworks. The two gallery floors brim with Instagrammable options: Yayoi Kusama's famous "Infinity Room," a mirrored chamber filled with twinkling LEDs on the ground floor, or, up the three-story escalator in a massive, skylit gallery, the reflective surfaces of Jeff Koons's iconic "Blue Dog." We spotted Owen Wilson posing with the artist, Mark Bradford engaged in an intimate conversation with Gwyneth Paltrow, and selfie-fanatic Takashi Murakami taking the opportunity to capture himself with Koons’s porcelain sculpture of Michael Jackson. If you’re counting at home, that’s three Pop stars in one.