ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE
After the unexpected passing of my father at age 62, I began creating cinematic scenes around New York that were reminiscent of his life. The American themes and unsettling locations that emerged seemed to create a tension with the time and place they inhabited. These landscapes and surroundings unveil a cold and strangely moving beauty, a series of movie stills that tells a story through its mood.
"Mike Mellia's photographs from 'Another Day in Paradise' take us on a allegorical trip through the New York of his father's life. His pictures both a lament and a celebration, a series of film stills that seek to capture the essence of a man who was deeply loved by his son, a man who lived in the America of our imaginations, a beat America full of Hopperesque diners, Bebop Jazz, small theatres, galleries and seaside funfairs.
It's all there. America in its cinematic glory, each picture carefully constructed to illicit a memory, an emotion, a feeling of time passed, not only of his father but of places his father inhabited. It's as if Mellia is tapping into a larger narrative, a generational story that is slowly passing into history, is no longer breathing, present. Instead has been surpassed by a digital behemoth, a generic, homogenised, technocracy that is clean, germ free and without the subtlety, nuances and humanity that permeated through the culture of 20th Century America. That gave us everything to aspire to. Changed the course of art, literature and music.
Or perhaps not. Perhaps I'm reading too much into these beautiful and poignant pictures. However, as a European, the America of my imagination also lies in the past between the riffs, words and paint of a former generation. Rests in places these pictures depict."
-Moray Mair, mutantartspace