Are We There Yet?

You may remember Schutz as the artist whose painting we featured on the cover of EW, November 2017.

If you’re like most of us in the U.S., you’re sick of hearing about the upcoming presidential election. Some, however, get caught up in the moment. That may explain how Dana Schutz’s “Trump Descending an Escalator,” which depicts his June 16, 2015, glitzy announcement to run for president (as reported by The Guardian), sold for GBP550,000 (US$711,774), according to HYPERALLERGIC. With the auction having taken place on October 20, the timing is probably not coincidental, considering the election date of November 3.

Commenting on the 88- X 75-in. canvas painting, Schutz explained: “I wanted to get that moment of suspense, when you know something is going to happen, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. In real life, he looks so dumpy, like a refrigerator. I’m happy with how the face turned out, kind of like a mask, with something guarded but threatening about it. He’s coming down, taking us to lower levels of everything.” 

If the Brooklyn-based artist is voting this year, it’s safe to say it’s not for the incumbent.

Dana Schutz, “Trump Descending an Escalator” (2017); image courtesy of Phillips via HYPERALLERGIC

Elevator for a Soylent Green Annex

In Abbotsford, a city between Chilliwack — where your author grew up — and Vancouver, Canada, is an interesting seven-story building that looks both grubby and intriguingly futuristic: McCallum Tower, completed in 1971, is a seven-story circular building consisting of a flat, low-level structure housing the first floor topped by six cylindrical floors in two progressively larger sections. It looks like something out of 1970s South Africa and reminds me of something from the set of Soylent Green: the 1972 sci-fi movie set in a grim, 2022 future in which overpopulation, pollution and climate catastrophe causes a severe shortage of water, housing and food. Sound familiar?

Apparently, McCallum Tower’s elevator is an esoteric attraction for elevator buffs. At a contributor’s suggestions, a video of the 1970s Armor traction elevator was featured on the site Vancity Elevators, racking up more than 200 views after it was posted on YouTube on October 11. The cab interior is very “Mad Men”-esque — a glossy, claustrophobic woodgrain, and, according to one commenter, the elevator itself takes the prize for “the slowest elevator on the planet.” Today, McCallum Tower houses medical offices, so if you’re fit and physically able, you might want to take the stairs to get to that appointment on time.

McCallum Tower at 2151 McCallum Road in Abbotsford; architect unknown; photo courtesy of Camellia Medical Laser Spa

You Found What?

Social media site Reddit is like a virtual scavenger hunt: No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll always find something interesting. Newsweek, the online news site, came across something fascinating for “elevator-maintenance folks” — the question, “what is the weirdest thing you have found at the bottom of the elevator [pit]?” Answers ranged from weapons to jewelry, a “Chucky” doll head to a Christmas tree. Flip through our photo gallery, and check out the original Reddit post for more. And, if you’ve got a story about an interesting find, drop us a line in the comments section.