The Art of The Real World

Forget the bowling alley, the coolest thing about The Real World suite is the art. That’s because production designer Matt Tognacci borrowed art from local artists, turning the suite into a local art “gallery” with a national stage. There’s art from painter Jerry Misko, photographer Shawn Hummel and seven pieces by Brian and Jennifer Henry. There’s also three photos by rock ’n’ roll photographer Neal Preston, who is based in L.A. but displays photos at the Hard Rock. Like a gallery, MTV didn’t buy or pay for the use of the art, relying instead on the promise of exposure. With one exception: “Yucca” and “TOD” by Brian were destroyed during taping, and The Real World requested replacements within 24 hours. (“We thought it made for a great story,” Jennifer says. “I can’t wait to see what really happened when the show airs!”) Now that the show is over, the art has been returned to the artists, and it’s up to them to make use of the MTV stamp of approval.

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If you learn one thing from The Mechanic, the buddy action remake of the 1972 film of the same name from Simon West (ConAir, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider), it’s to be more cautious on Craigslist. Answer an ad for what seems like a routine spark-plug installation and you might end up volunteering to drown a Colombian dignitary in his lap pool. See, “mechanic” is code for an elite assassin, the kind of guy who scowls and wears mock turtlenecks and likes to walk away casually from burning buildings.