The Promised Land Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada 1984-2018

What is promised?

You can beat the odds, name your price, live like Caligula in Rome or Trump in New York City. You can pretend to be a sophisticate in Europe or party like Cleopatra on her barge. You can drop your kids off at the arcade while your partner shops in Paris and you strike it rich at the tables, then hit the clubs.

An oasis in the desert. Bright lights, easy money, and free drinks. Instant gratification with drive-through weddings and quickie divorces. No holds barred. We never close. All of your wishes will come true.

I have been photographing in Las Vegas periodically for over 30 years, finding it to be a visually rich buffet, an over-the-top caricature of the American Dream. It looks bigger than life while it feels like a mirage that could blow away with the sand at any moment.

When I first visited Las Vegas in 1979 there were large voids of empty sandy space between many of the then 20 story casinos along the Strip. Since then the casino/hotels and shopping malls have filled in most of those sandy patches and have grown to an almost un-photographable  60 stories tall. The perpetual rebranding and oneupmanship that constantly alters the facades and landscape continues to challenge me.