To the degree that every contemporary art museum is an Instagram stage these days, the emergence of unapologetically social media–oriented art projects was probably inevitable. We live in a world where LACMA (home of Urban Light, one of the most Instagrammed things in the world) has an Instagram artist in residence, and the Broad (home of that ridiculous Koons) launched itself with influencer events. It's a world where art is routinely ruined (at the 14th Factory, in Russian museums, at the Hirshhorn...) by ambitious selfie seekers.
So it almost makes sense that it's now a world that also panders to the Insta-glam impulse — and L.A. is definitely part of the trend. The Museum of Ice Cream has melted away but the Museum of Illusions appears to be here to stay; the Museum of Selfies is now a permanent fixture on Hollywood Boulevard; and let us not forget that while the internet is forever, life is short, as we check into the Museum of Death.
Museum of Ice Cream
A series of confectionary spaces dedicated to things like sprinkles and whipped cream and the prismatic sherbet rainbow, in which visitors are encouraged to dive, wallow and search for the perfect sugar-high shot to post. Visitors to its downtown Los Angeles Arts District location, which has now closed, famously included Blue Ivy Carter. As of April 4, it has reopened in San Francisco, at 1 Grant Ave., through May 27. I scream, you scream, we all scream. instagram.com/museumoficecream; $38.
Museum of Illusions
A photogenic maze of multiplayer optical tricks designed with smartphone cameras in mind. If you've ever wanted to inhabit and document a filtered fantasy of mountain climbing, movie heroism, sci-fi shape-shifting and upside-down houses, this is the place for you. It's open 10 a.m. to midnight daily at 6751 Hollywood Blvd., and also has a San Francisco iteration planned for later this year. instagram.com/museumofillusions.la; $25.
Museum of Selfies
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God help us, it is just what it sounds like, and conveniently located next door to the Museum of Illusions, at 6757 Hollywood Blvd. instagram.com/themuseumofselfies; Sun.-Thu., 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 10 a.m.-mid.; $25.
Museum of Death
You might remember this gothic emporium from its unlikely tenure in the mid-1990s in a San Diego mortuary. Well, it's back and bicoastal with its claim to "the world's largest collection of serial-killer artwork, antique funeral ephemera, mortician and coroners instruments, Manson Family memorabilia, pet death taxidermy, crime-scene photographs" and incredibly lifelike, so to speak, tableaux, which have been known to induce fainting spells. There are currently two locations, one in New Orleans and the other at 6031 Hollywood Blvd. instagram.com/museumofdeathofficial; Sun.-Thu., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Fri., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; $17.