The Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Michael Schmelling’

Staff Picks: Menace, Music, Melrose Place

September 30, 2016 | by

What’s Jean-Francois Lyotard's Libidinal Economy doing in an episode of Melrose Place? You can thank the GALA Committee for that...

I know Patrick Hoffman as a real-life detective. So when I picked up his novel Every Man a Menace, I expected to find a bunch of believable lowlifes killing each other, believably, over a large shipment of drugs. I was not expecting—wasn’t demanding—subtle characterization, tricky narrative switchbacks, or vivid, moody prose. I also wasn't expecting the action to begin with a long acid trip. “In his mind’s eye, Raymond saw emeralds cut into shapes that couldn’t be described in human language … He saw the insides of stars like rooms in a house.” When Hoffman takes off his detecting hat, he’s closer to Denis Johnson than to Elmore Leonard. —Lorin Stein 

I’ve never watched much Melrose Place, but I’m always looking for reasons to start. I found the best one at Red Bull Studios, where Mel Chin and his team of artists, the GALA Committee, are displaying all the art they designed for the show. In an inspired marriage of fine art and pop culture, GALA convinced Aaron Spelling to let them pepper his sets with sly, subliminal artworks that most viewers never even noticed. (And how could they, with such melodrama unfolding around them?) A box of Chinese takeout with ideograms for “Human Rights” made a cameo in a post-Tiananmen Square episode; a dartboard with a silhouette of a woman who represents the show’s “target demographic” hung in the bar; and a blanket embroidered with the chemical structure of the morning-after pill found its way to one character’s bed just as she learned she was pregnant. The irony—such pointed social commentary in such hidden art—never got old; I wandered the premises long after most had left. It helped that a number of Melrose Place’s sets have been lovingly resurrected onsite. Yes, the pool is there. —Dan Piepenbring Read More »

What We’re Loving: Fires, Isolation, Whispering Gallery

February 1, 2013 | by

Walk in New York - NYC Vintage - Postcard - Grand Central Terminal

Remember Rod McKuen? He’s the one who wrote those illustrated books of free verse with titles like Come to Me in Silence and Listen to the Warm. In the 1970s, McKuen called himself America’s most popular poet, and he may well have been. Since then he has faded into obscurity, without an heir—until now. For reasons best known to themselves, the poet and singer David Berman, the photographer Michael Schmelling, and the painter-sculptor Friedrich Kunath have created You Owe Me a Feeling, an unlikely late masterpiece in the McKuen mode. “Love is the 51st state,” Berman writes. And: “The whole country is turning / into LA (so let’s move to LA).” And: “Golden / retrievers / aren’t dogs, / they’re dogs / about dogs.” These aperçus appear between portraits of a rugged artiste doing his thing on a Kunath canvas, hefting a giant Kunath shoe, or nuzzling one of Kunath’s human-faced tangerines. It’s kind of hard to describe, but we all loved it, and (even though one of us [Nicole] has an e-mail address borrowed from a David Berman song) none of us happened to be stoned. —Lorin Stein

What better way to celebrate the Centennial of Grand Central station than with a dozen bivalves at the Oyster Bar and a visit to the Whispering Gallery? While there, check out the New York Transit Museum’s exhibit “Grand by Design: A Centennial Celebration of Grand Central Terminal,” on view through March 15. —Sadie Stein Read More »