Be ready for this home to take your breath away – and that’s no exaggeration. It’s the response that many people have upon entry into the Rancho Mirage home of Michael Epstein and Scott Schwimer when they see the lifelike polyresin sculptures by Marc Sijan. A woman in a two-piece bathing suit and sun hat pulled over her eyes reclines against the living room wall. A young girl stands in the corner of the master suite. A cowboy awaits in the guest bedroom.
While these sculptures certainly make a bold statement, they’re only a fraction of the modern art that graces the home of Epstein and Schwimer, who own the archives of Hollywood glamour photographer George Hurrell. Pop art is everywhere. Andy Warhol makes several appearances with Jane Fonda, Hamburger, Playboy Bunny, Campbell’s Soup Can and jointly with Keith Haring in the Andy Mouse painting. Charles Bell’s bold Gumball, a painting of Alfred E. Newman, two giant Brillo Pad boxes, and Heinz Can of Beans by Paul Warhola are just some examples of vibrant artwork scattered throughout the 5,000-square-foot home. And, of course, the home wouldn’t be complete without a few Hurrells, including Katharine Hepburn and Gilbert Roland.
Epstein, who calls the home’s style “eclectic contemporary,” loves to watch people’s reactions to his art collection. “My feeling about art is that if someone says they hate something, it means as much as if they say they love it,” he says.
The spacious back yard is another big draw for Epstein, Schwimer, and their Scottish terrier, Triple. The dog has plenty of room to run through the lawn and near the citrus orchard, while his owners lounge in the porte-cochere. “We spend a lot of time [out there],” Epstein says. “We purposely didn’t put a plasma TV in there. It’s a great place to hang out, read, and talk to friends.”
Location: The Renaissance, Rancho Mirage
Year built: 2003
Architect: Hunt Hale Jones Architects
Builder: Kelly Pacific
Specs: 5,000 square feet — 2 bedrooms plus guest house, 3.5 baths