Mr. Flesh used eye-catching details like enormous light bulbs, Mylar surfaces, pastel color schemes and shag carpeting in his game-show décor of the 1960s and 1970s. His large, bright sets lent shows a sense of luxury that the utilitarian designs of the 1950s and early 1960s lacked....Let us acknowledge the importance of Mr. Flesh as an artist: He made a vivid sculpture that impressed itself into American consciousness as what the 1970s look like and, beyond the 70s, what color TV is supposed to look like... all glitzy and flashy and kinetic. Before TV went wild like that, quiz shows looked like this:
But Mr. Flesh’s most lasting creation may be the blinking carnival wheel that eventually mesmerized the nation. In the pilot for “Wheel of Fortune,” the wheel stood upright and was rather small, making it difficult to see on screen. Mr. Flesh laid it flat and made it big enough so that home viewers could clearly discern its markings.
The first wheel he created, in 1975, was a humble affair of cardboard, paint and light bulbs; the current incarnation is steel and Plexiglas and weighs more than 2,400 pounds.
July 21, 2011
An obituary for a man with a fabulous name and flashy achievement: