Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hot Shot Photographer Tony Duran's Picture Perfect Pad

SELLER: Tony Duron
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $2,195,000
SIZE: 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Your Mama was going to spend the morning discussing the dee-luxe Los Angeles, CA mansion purchased last year by an egotastic music mogul for one of his three baby mommas. Then late last night we heard from Beachwood Betty who directed our attentions to a dramatic and libidinous Los Angeles residence owned by celebrity photographer Tony Duran and we decided to shift gears.

Your Mama realizes that many of the children may not recognize Mister Duran's name. If you've ever opened a magazine with pretty pictures of celebrities y'all have certainly seen some of his sensual, adoring, sometimes homoerotic, and famously flattering photos of stars who are frequently shot in some state of undress and/or with nood or nearly nekkid men with chiseled faces and bodies that could make a gay porn star weep with envy.

Mister Duran is perhaps most widely known for his long photographic relationship with Jennifer Lopez, who he began shooting when she was still Jenny on the Block. He's also snapped memorable and sometimes iconic images of famous folks and Hollywood heavyweights such as Brooke Shields–some of the fiercest photos you will ever see of the woman, big booty Beyoncé, that whackadoodle Tom Cruise fella, Jamie Fox, Brad Pitt, Adrian Brody, Jude Law, Orlando Bloom, a young Justin Timberlake, Anne Hathaway, Natalie Portman, Lindsay Lohan before she was a total tabloid train wreck, Penelope Cruz, Cindy Crawford, Sharon Stone, Charlize Theron, Christina Ricci, Halle Berry.... Need we go on?

Property records show that Mister Duran picked up his house high above Beachwood Canyon and in the morning shadow of the Hollywood sign in September of 2007 when he paid $1,900,000 for the provocatively designed pad that listing information indicates contains 3 bedrooms and 3 poopers. Property records show the home measures 2,490 square feet but we're not sure if that's a pre- or post-renovation assessment of size.

Like most houses tucked into the hills above Hollywood, Mister Duran's dwelling sits right up on the road, its privacy protected by tall walls and even higher hedges. Your Mama suspects this was a pretty ordinary house before it was transformed into a dizzying piece of architectural origami with cattywompus walls, a Daedalean puzzle of acute and obtuse angles and planes, unexpected voids, chaotic roof lines, cozy nooks and crannies, disappearing corners and large expanses of glass that work overtime to both modulate transparency and provide proper privacy. The house has a kind of Alice in Wonderland quality that would seem whimsical if it didn't have the more sinister–but not entirely unappealing–sensation of seeming like there is a house inside this house struggling to get out.

The interior spaces, a purposefully if self-consciously cacophonous display of architectural chutzpah and bravery that makes Your Mama feel edgy, off-kilter and a little drunk, have been unified by a single minded day-core that exercises itself with a generous tactility created by a delicious use of yummy textures. The fusing effect goes into overdrive as it works itself out in every corner of the crib with a strict and somber palette of black, gray, brown, and gut punches of white. Although we freely admit to being drawn to and interested in the demanding, quirky, and dynamic architecture, this sort of sexed up, almost lurid, I live in a nightclub sort of day-core isn't exactly Your Mama's ideal notion of home. None the less, iffin this kind of glammy theatricality is one's decorative wet dream, many lessons can probably be learned from Mister Duran's lusty and charismatic digs in the Hollywood Hills.

Although Mister Duran's domicile possesses an unassuming, single story street frontage, the house tumbles down three floors at the back. Several outdoor patios and terraces expand the carpeted and concrete floored indoors into the outdoors. One elevated gravel pad offers a sofa and a couple of chunky chairs with soft white cushions sunk into crisp wood cubes. A few steps down from there, a concrete pony wall wraps around the barbecue and beyond that a dining room table–an obvious and affectionate homage to the great George Nakashimia–fashioned from a gigantic, rustic and irregularly shaped slice of wood surrounded by a mess of metal chairs on three sides and a large, high backed upholstered banquette on the fourth. The armless and headless statue looming above the dining table appears to be a full size replica of The Winged Victory of Samothrace. Uhm, hmm, well, no. Not only is this a conceit we can not abide, that thing would surely scare the skin right off Your Mama as we came around the corner of the house in dim light of a boozy dusk not to mention the hysterical fits of voodoo rituals it would likely induce from our superstitious house gurl Svetlana.

Anyhoo, an exterior stair between the barbecue pit and the dining area tunnels under the house and leads down to the property's lowest level where campy, no maintenance fake grass surrounds the angular infinity edged swimming pool. We're certain some of the children are going to spit and whine over the fake grass, but with the exorbitant and ever escalating cost of water in California, fake grass is the new black when it comes to landscaping options. Trust Your Mama on this one, puppies. A deck stretches out from below the house and cantilevers seductively over the pool where Mister Duran (or his nice, gay decorator) has placed a couple of loungers for sun soaking and afternoon massages by Big Sven and his Big Hands. However, it causes Your Mama uncontrollable panic and jerky episodes of hyper ventilating just to think of sitting under that sculptural, spiky, arched thing that looms above those chaise lounges. A multi-sided spa is attached to the swimming pool, a feature likely to please the Dr. Cooter who like little more than sitting in a boiling vat of water with a large glass of expensive red wine.

Beneath the house and adjacent to the swimming pool is a large outdoor living room complete with travertine (or maybe it's limestone or marble) floor tiles, a plush chocolate brown sofa covered in what looks like suede, a couple of modern and "masculine" leather slipper chairs, a large black and white photo of a man's unclothed and breathtakingly beefy backside and yet another disturbing, armless and headless statue, this time of a muscular man's torso. Honestly children, Your Mama is simply speechless that anyone with even an ounce of taste–and Mister Duran clearly has much more than an ounce–thinks it's appropriate to use statues of naked men as day-core. It's just so Rock Hudson we can't bear it.

Mister Duran's house is clearly not for the architectural feint of heart or for someone who prefers a more traditional style of home or a more conventional layout. However, in Los Angeles these sorts of sexified and architecturally aggressive houses are beloved, cherished and desired by many, particularly when priced in the two million dollar range because, let's be honest, if this house were located above the Sunset Strip it would probably be listed at nearly twice it's current list price of $2,195,000.

photos: Rose + Chang

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

What sort of fool is gonna buy that? It's a jarring aesthetic mess. Though the tea tray in the bedroom is funny.

eddie from pdx said...

love it! love it! love it!

Chris said...

I like most of it a lot, although it seems that more windows would make it nicer. What I don't like is the kitchen table with fixed swivel stools as if it were a soda fountain or bar. I want to sit in a honest-to-goodness CHAIR, with legs, etc., when I eat or drink.

Anonymous said...

I think this house is uniquely gorgeous!

It's funky and fun... not at all something expected or contrived by the masses.

The price is a steal (maybe not fot he location) but for this type of house which seems to rarely exist outside of the Sunset Strip / Bird Streets.....

I'd take it in a heart beat....

Anonymous said...

That just the design of the stool. If you look there is a large metal plate on the floor it sits on... its NOT affixed to the floor.

Anonymous said...

Im hoping the Google streetview of this house is before whatever renovations... bc if its after it is hideous from the street.

Madam Pince said...

All those beams -- it's like a game of pick-up sticks.

Anonymous said...

Great house and fairly priced. Nice to see something unique.

Anonymous said...

Wow - nothing I could live in, but truly polished.

Thanks mama - cattywompus is a word you just don't hear often enough.

Anonymous said...

Oy vey, Mama,
Taking up residence in the Duran home would be similar to living inside of a limited-palette, late-cubist painting of Pablo Picasso or Georges Braque, with perhaps a smidge of LSD tossed into the party punch, to shatter the structural angularity into infinite fragments of pattern and purpose. Or maybe it just seems like that to me, after Studly, or was it Rod, slipped me one too many glasses of party punch?
xoxo
Hedda

Anonymous said...

Wow. Interesting to be sure, but way too many angles going on for my taste or comfort. Too much of a good thing ruins the whole thing in my design book.

The Preppy Pauper said...

Wow, design is very subjective isn't it? I can appreciate the time and effort that went into the interior and exterior of this house...but... IT JUST CREEPS ME OUT! It's all too much humorless - 1970s porn shoot - vicious queen - Xanax mixed with Vodka and Cocaine - lost weekend - barely concealed psychological problems - Valley of the Dolls - West Hollywood for my liking. But that's just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Very Funky!!! Love it!!!

Anonymous said...

It's the Brady Bunch house Mike designed when he was on acid...

StPaulSnowman said...

I suspect that there is a very limited pool of buyers who want to live inside Minority Report.

Anonymous said...

How did you find the google street view? I want to see! ; )

Anonymous said...

somehow is looks past it....
over done, over wrought and just plane over
but my hat is off to everyone involved in this
couragous experiment
at least it isnt another box

Anonymous said...

Dont really like the house, do like the photos. They look like they belong in a mazazine. Coincidence?

Jeannified said...

LOVE this house! One of my favorites that you've posted pics of on your site! As you mentioned, I DON'T like that fake grass, but other than that, it's FABU!!! I wonder who will end up buying it. More than that, I wonder why he's SELLING it. Hmmm...what a goldmine!

Anonymous said...

Fantastic - takes some balls to live in a place like this. I love it and agree it's one of the best posts Mama has done.

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous.
Not really to my taste but terrific for what it is.
Good change of pace.

Anonymous said...

Jarring aesthetic mess about sums it (first comment above). I couldn't look at the photos for longer than 5 seconds.