Of all the places on earth that I know to be real, the Playboy Mansion is the one that in my mind, probably features as fictional. Sure, there’s a Playboy Mansion but—it has an actual address? Someone pays the heating bill? People actually go there? One thing I discovered while researching this post is that Google Maps will not give a result for the search input “Playboy Mansion”—but of course, they do have it.
Yes, the Playboy Mansion does exist, tucked between Westwood and Beverly Hills in Los Angeles. Playboy bought the 21,987-square-foot house in 1971, and the house features a wine cellar with a secret door dating from Prohibition, a screening room with a built-in pipe organ, a game room, three zoo/aviary buildings, facilities for tennis and basketball, a waterfall, and a swimming pool area, which has a patio and barbecue area, a grotto, a basement gym with a sauna below the bathhouse. The grounds include a large koi pond with an artificial stream, a small citrus orchard, and two forests.
Clearly, they chose well…..
2016 was a pivotal year in the history of the legendary empire built on masturbation, what with Playboy ceasing publication of nudes as well as announcing the sale of the Mansion for $100 million. In effect we can say that the “Playboy era” may have definitively come to a close, all the more bizarre that this would happen the same year that Donald Trump would secure the White House.
Shortly before the sale of the house, Hugh Hefner gave well-respected photographer Jeff Minton permission to photograph the house and the property exhaustively, and Minton took full advantage, taking nearly 6,000 photographs. Minton believes that Hefner became interested in hiring Minton based on Minton’s picture of a monkey that had appeared in New York magazine, and suitably enough, Minton commenced his photographic tour of the Mansion with “Hugh’s monkeys” and went from there.
Minton’s goal is to generate “the most comprehensive look at the mansion ever, down to the smallest details.” Minton’s strategy was to stay away from what might be called “explicit” material in favor of odd glimpses of forgotten corners that prompt speculation about who chose to place that particular object in that setting or what was happening just outside the frame.
For those who have never been to the Playboy Mansion, Minton’s photographs provide a fascinating insight into the creation of what is arguably the most hedonistic estate on earth.
Much more after the jump…....