Like Vishnu’s dream, there is a realm of San Francisco that emerged from the mind of Stanlee Gatti. In that dimension a hundred thousand peonies grow; light radiates from countless candles; and of course, there is a cosmic DJ. As San Francisco’s leading event guru, Gatti merges art, architecture, interiors, floral design and graphics into stellar happenings. Over the past three decades, he has produced events ranging from Oscar parties and opera galas to VIP weddings and chic soirées for the likes of the Gettys, Trainas, and, recently, someone named Kanye.
If Gatti’s work is dreams, then his studio is his literal head office. His workspace is comprised of a trio of buildings in SoMa that form a neural network: The first houses the offices of Gatti’s team, as well as a 4,000-square-foot floral studio where roses, succulents and innumerable other blooms are sculpted into artful arrangements for, on average, 10 events per week. The second building is home to a production studio for the myriad magical elements that constitute a Gatti event (on one visit, the team was carving enormous decorative wood flourishes to adorn the opera house). It also holds a literal memory bank: an archive containing thousands upon thousands of objects that have populated his installations, from vintage Mexican Batea plates to floral pyrography boxes. Third is a vast warehouse that houses still more fabulous stuffs.279