We all love decorating our homes for Christmas, hanging a few lights on the roof and maybe putting some illuminated reindeer on the front lawn. But few of us go quite as far as millionaire party planner Armani. Living up to the image of the Las Vegas we’ve all seen on TV, he flew in top graffiti artists from around the world to spray paint his Sin City mansion to create the “most Vegas Christmas ever.”
Of course, Las Vegas is no stranger to street art, with vibrant works popping up all over the city and even a dedicated graffiti alley art gallery, so this was not the first time Armani has had his house, Villa Shangri-La, spray painted. It was also transformed for Halloween back in October. But just like his Christmas decoration, it was simply whitewashed once the festivities were over, returning the luxury home to a more traditional look. It also created a blank canvas for his street art elves to work from.
Spontaneous to the last, Armani trawled the internet looking for street artists whose style he liked, and then gave them just 48 hours to get to his Vegas home. Artists were chosen from across the globe, including Canada, Mexico and even Dublin, Ireland, where full-time street artist Dean Kane took the unexpected call.
“I got a message saying I’d like you to come to Vegas to spray paint my mansion,” explained Dean. “…in two days’ time,” he continued. Like his Superman namesake, he didn’t need asking twice, taking to the skies and flying to the rescue to join the team who were busy transforming the mansion into a massive gingerbread house.
“It was a real melting pot of people,” says Dean. “But we were all artists, so we could communicate through the universal language of art.”
It turned out that the mansion was quite a canvas, with so many rooms that Dean found himself constantly getting lost in the labyrinth. The team worked long and hard to get through the work in time for Christmas, not only for their client but also so they could get home to their own families.
But working for a party planner meant there was a fair amount of fun mixed in, too, especially when neighbors like Dan Reynolds, frontman of the band Imagine Dragons, dropped by to look at their work.Over the course of a week, the mansion was transformed to show two sides of Christmas. The front was painted as a positive Christmas scene for the neighbors to see, featuring a gingerbread house, Olaf from “Frozen” and characters from “Ice Age.” Around the back, however, it was a different story, with the naughty side of Christmas on display, including The Grinch and bad Santas, for his many party guests.
The results were striking, as you can see here, or at least for the few weeks before they were covered up. But don’t worry; Armani is already working on his next house painting theme and plans to do a new work of art once a month. In between, he’ll just have to make do with his graffiti-covered Lamborghini, and his pet tigers and zebras, to brighten the place up.