For one, that new 4,000 sq.ft Malibu home he just acquired: much love to Tadao Ando but the $57.3 million that Kanye coughed up for this bomb shelter is just out of pocket.
It’s pretty enough, especially with that woodsy furniture, but the reality is it’s a seaside concrete slab that looks as welcoming as a, well, concrete slab. “Bunker boy,” indeed.
And I get that Kanye loves Ando’s work enough to live in it. But there’s something to be said about enjoying art from a distance, rather than setting up shop inside it, especially when it runs the risk of eroding out from underneath you.
The magic of Ando’s “Church of Light” exists at least in part because you aren’t sitting inside it 24/7.
Visitors experience those short-lived moments of perfect light, reflect on the space’s intentionality, and briefly savor. They aren’t moving in!
Then again, Kanye probably won’t occupy his new crib all that often given that he has a spread of other properties to lounge around in, which has me in some kind of weird, critical limbo: is it better to be there all the time, soaking in the space, or to only pop in on occasion?
Perhaps Kanye only acquired the Ando-designed house for his portfolio. If that’s the case, it wasn’t exactly a bargain: $57.3 million is a fair shake lower than the pre-COVID $75 sought by its former owner but it’s still the second-highest purchase price paid for a Malibu abode this year.
But let’s slow down for a second: Kanye’s losing millions by trying to sell Monster Lake for $11m.
Remember, this is nearly 4,000 acres of… nothing.
I mean, there’s a lot of land but only one bedroom and two bedrooms in the actual building. Yes, there’s a go-kart track (!), fishing holes (well, one big hole), and ample terrain for horse-riding but given the expense, this isn’t exactly luxuriant living.
Sitting here in my tiny NYC apartment, a giant Wyoming ranch does sound immensely peaceful, I’ll admit.
But once you take in the awe-inspiring environs, what do you do for the rest of the time you live there? Especially as a billionaire, one who could easily jet off to any country on the planet.
Furthermore, Kanye’s already got Bighorn Mountain, why’s he also need Monster Lake? And who’s gonna cough up $11 million clams to own a tiny one-bedroom set amidst rocks and water?
Judging by the listing photos, I’d guess a few good ol’ fisherman types would be down if they’ve got the scratch.
To be fair, I might be a little presumptive in assuming that a wealthy guy who’s always on the move and staying in fancy hotels is buying places for logical reasons.
It’s good of Kanye to be putting his wealth to use conceiving of readymade homes for those without — and it gives him reason to use all that empty space, I suppose — but the idea still seems half-baked even a few years after the initial development.
These things take time but given Kanye’s own predilection for flash over function, I don’t have a ton of faith. Happy to be proven wrong though!
That’s the thing though. Kanye is all about the style over substance.
I won’t deny that he has great taste, whether it’s in terms of style or architects.
Yeezy’s an objectively iconoclastic, cultured guy. People wanna dress, act, and live like him, and it’s not cuz he’s boring.
But rich people should be interesting. Especially if they’re tastemakers — like Kanye — they ought to surround themselves with cool types who push their taste forward by interacting with culture and creatives.
If that means style over substance, so be it. Not everyone’s gonna like Kanye’s music or houses but there’ll be plenty that do simply because he co-signed it.
And that’s fine. Really, my only beef is that his properties end up being so surface level instead of next level.
I’ve been pretty surprised that Kanye has resolutely stuck to brutalist themes. The style is great, don’t get me wrong, but it looks cheap without that a studied eye for quiet luxury.
So, if Kanye’s real estate isn’t gonna break boundaries, it ought to at least be interesting on his own terms.