As if the producer known as Danger Mouse hasn’t already proven a music hot shot, as Brian Burton with a racquet, he and doubles partner Stephen Gaghan, the critically acclaimed screenwriter-director, showed they also know their way around a court by taking the top prize at last weekend’s inaugural tennis invitational to benefit the nonprofit art-and-architecture think tank MAK Center.
The MAK Games brought out a notable bunch of this city’s behind-the-scenes movers to compete, cocktail and christen the new courts at the storied Sheats/Goldstein House, the geometric marvel of glass and concrete designed by John Lautner in the hills of Beverly Hills in 1963. Among the players who donned their tennis whites—and reds and blacks—was Hammer Museum director of exhibitions and publications Brooke Hodge, film producer James Dahl, artist Charles Gaines, Good founder Ben Goldhirsh, architecture historian/archivist/curator Nicholas Olsberg, and LACMA chief curator Franklin Sirmans. Broadcaster and former pro Justin Gimelstob called the plays, while DJ Roisin Davis kept the party and plays on note with tracks as diverse as Françoise Hardy and Daft Punk.
While one long-side of the court had a priceless view of the entire of Los Angeles toward the Pacific, the other was lined with a cluster of the 100-odd guests and hosts who turned out for the gorgeous afternoon, including Stephen’s wife the designing socialite Minnie Mortimer, artist Doug Aitken, Decades’ Cameron Silver and a bevy of architects including Ron Radziner, Mark Lee and Sharon Johnston.
Another architect present was Duncan Nicholson, who along with creating the shiny mirrored trophy resembling a smooth, head-sized tennis ball, designed the court—an undertaking that lasted some 10 years. Hopefully the discoteque now underway for under the courts—yes, in only an L.A. stroke of amenities—will be ready sooner. Duncan assumed the reins as chief architect of the property following his mentor’s death in 1994. Lautner had continued to expand on his design after the current owner James Goldstein took ownership in 1971. The property went from a home for a family of 5 to a bachelor pad dreams are made of thanks to the extravagant vision of Mr. Goldstein. How extravagant? The lanky, silver-haired figure has a penchant for head-to-toe snakeskin, crocodile and metallic skins that has made him an international fashion icon. He’s also a major Laker fan.
Mr. Goldstein was missing at Saturday’s event, but his team provided tours of the house, including entrance into “Above Horizon,” a “skyspace” installed by James Turrell in 2004. While we weren’t able to experience at the golden hour of the morning or evening, just being inside it with its colored lighting was incredible enough.
For us, it was also about connecting with folks we haven’t seen in ages, such as Better Shelter‘s Stephen Jones (who generously loaned out to us his sandfront apartment in Laguna Beach recently) and A+R Venice regulars Joseph and Esther Varet, who hands-down get the cutest couple of the day award. Esther, a gallery owner, co-chaired the event with LACMA’s in-house architect Priscilla Fraser.
So why so much love for MAK? There its critically-acclaimed, discipline-crossing programming put on by this LA satellite of the Museum for Applied Art and Contemporary Art in Vienna (MAK). For us, though, is its conservation of 3 significant works of modern architecture by R. M. Schindler, including its headquarters nearby our La Brea store, on Kings Road. That place gives me goosebumps every time I have a chance to visit it.
Posted In: Uncategorized, architecture, Ben Goldhirsh, Brooke Hodge, Charles Gaines, Danger Mouse, Doug Aiken, Duncan Nicholson, Esther Vert, Franklin Sirmans, James Dahl, James Goldstein, James Turrell, John Lautner, Joseph Vert, Justin Gimelstob, LACMA, love, MAK Center, Mark Lee, Minnie Mortimer, Museum for Applied Art and Contemporary Art, Nicholas Olsberg, Priscilla Fraser, R.M. Schindler, Ron Radziner, Sharon Johnston, Sheats/Goldstein, Stephen Gaghan, tennis, Vienna