Why Hollywood Art Collectors Are Converting Garages Into Galleries

THR Garage Gallery_THR_DavidHobermanGallery_15 - THR - H 2017
Gizelle Hernandez

High-powered aficionados such as 'Beauty and the Beast' producer David Hoberman and New York Giants owner Steve Tisch are kicking their cars to the curb in favor of colorful paintings by Eddie Martinez and furniture by creator Urs Fischer.

The latest signal of serious-mindedness among Hollywood collectors is creating one's own private art gallery — at home. In 2016, producer and New York Giants owner Steve Tisch completed a 4,500-square-foot gallery (designed by the architectural firm Johnston Marklee) at his Beverly Hills estate. Covered in corrugated metal, it sits on the site of what was once a tennis court. And David Hoberman, the prolific producer behind such films as The Fighter, The Muppets and Disney's new live-action Beauty and the Beast, has transformed the three-car garage at his contemporary Malibu home into a white-walled box. Completed late in 2016, the space houses colorful paintings by artists Eddie Martinez, Julian Schnabel and Frank Bowling (seen above, left to right) and a large female torso sculpture commissioned from Amanda Ross-Ho. "It's right in the front of the house in a very attractive spot. I had better use for that space than to just house cars," says Hoberman, who relegated his rides to a newly built carport. Making the garage work as a gallery required putting up wood walls that could support canvases and installing lighting, a dehumidifier and temperature controls. "I can make the house more of a permanent collection and make the gallery more of a rotating collection," he says. Two pieces to be delivered soon — an Urs Fischer foam chair and ottoman — will make the space more livable, he adds. "When I put that in, it will be a real hangout."

In Venice, film finance executive Diane Klein tore down a termite-infested detached garage on her property and — working with architect Daniel Monti of Modal Design — rebuilt it in 2014 as a two-story structure featuring an angled roofline covered in zinc shingles. There's still room below for cars, while the top floor houses a 1,000-square-foot space with multiple screens and projectors for Klein's collection, which focuses heavily on videos by such artists as Ryan Trecartin, Petra Cortright and Christian Marclay. "I wanted a dedicated room to present video work in an immersive environment," says Klein. A hidden Murphy bed allows the upstairs to double as a guest suite.

"True collectors generally have a very creative side to them," says art adviser Veronica Fernandez. "It just makes sense that they'd want dedicated spaces where they can more carefully curate works that will foster a conversation with each other. These are really laboratories for them." She and Klein currently are commissioning artist Isaac Julien to do a three-channel version of his seminal work 10,000 Waves, a film about migrant Chinese workers. Klein won't rule out the idea of taking over the lower level. "If the collection grows significantly," she says, "the cars might be kicked to the curb."



The Underground Museum (through April 29)

"Late artist Noah Davis invited Kara Walker, Kerry James Marshall, Theaster Gates, Deana Lawson and more to tell the story of the extremes of black people's existence," says writer/producer Mara Brock Akil. "It is one of exalted beauty in the dying breath of racial violence against our humanity."

Hauser Wirth & Schimmel (through May 21)

"Jason died well before his time at age 41 in 2006," says UTA Fine Art head Joshua Roth. "These massive and intricate installations, covering almost 30,000 square feet, are mind-blowing."

California African American Museum (March 1-June 25)

"I am overwhelmed with excitement about these poignant works," says OWN exec Tina Perry, who also cites Diana Thater at The Mistake Room (opening April 2).

This story first appeared in the March 17 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.