McMansions are often thought to be pretentious and low-brow. Therefore, it might be difficult to imagine that a renowned artist could live inside such a home:
The home of 81-year-old artist Dick Seeger doesn’t have a lot of curb appeal.
Located in a quiet, upscale neighborhood of North Scottsdale, it certainly doesn’t look like it’s the location of anything particularly remarkable. Half-hidden by scraggly creosote bushes, its unpaved circular driveway is littered with fallout from trees that surround the dun-colored house. It’s the least-groomed place in a neighborhood of typical North Scottsdale adoboid compounds dear to the hearts of Midwestern newcomers enthused about the Southwest. Its lack of distinction is exactly what compelled the octagenarian artist to purchase it…
Welcome to The Magical Mystery Spiritual Experience. That’s what Dick Seeger has dubbed the constantly transmuting, living-art environment he’s created, and continually reconfigures, in basically every square inch of what looks to be your average upper-middle-class home, on land that once sheltered horses and stables…
“It was amazing,” says Hampton. “He lived alone in a great big Scottsdale — I hate to say it — McMansion, which just made the contents of the place, including its artist-in-residence, that much more unlikely. The whole place was a constantly changing display of his collections and his own art that became a surreal art experience.”
What a great juxtaposition by the art expert (Hampton) who seems to suggest that a McMansion could never contain worthwhile art. I wonder why Seeger chose such a home if it would be reviled by others and whether anyone ever criticized the home in front of Seeger.
Perhaps the McMansion is simply part of the exhibit as ironic commentary about American culture: even within the heart of consumerism and materialism (represented by the McMansion), critical insights and aesthetic beauty can emerge (the art within the house).
(As a bonus: you can read a little about the artist’s community that developed in Scottsdale in the mid twentieth century.)