I’ve never wanted to visit Las Vegas, but when your boss offers to fly you down to attend a picture framing conference then you go. Still, I felt like I was about to waste loads of energy on a trip to a city that had nothing to offer me, especially new ideas to take back to the studio. I just imagined a reality show that starred every sort of person I tend to avoid. For the most part I was right, but Vegas also has some unexpected originality to it.
It took a day or two to appreciate the subtle weirdness of the casinos in Las Vegas. The casinos created an atmosphere that amounted to a strangely appealing approximation of the actual cities they mimic. Even though the casinos were weak imitations barely resembling a Paris or Venice, they still managed to transport me to a place somewhere in between the two, at least psychologically. As long as you overlooked the cheesy and heavy-handed details of these outright artificially constructed buildings, I found myself whisked off into this quasi-fantasyland, and it fascinated me.
Las Vegas allowed me to see my work from a slightly different angle than I usually do. Now I’m interested in a hybrid imagery that feels simultaneously both real and artificial, a liminal imagery that is neither here nor there but may transport the viewer somewhere unexpected.