Oil Paint, Silver Leaf and Gold Leaf on Canvas
I was told that there is an old Las Vegas legend that if you have your picture taken at the iconic Las Vegas Welcome Sign you will have good luck during your stay. Here I am, strapped with palette and brushes, ready for action.
The sign remains remarkably busy with visitors, day and night – takings photos, getting married by Elvis, and just about anything else you can possibly imagine. It was amazing to watch the ebb and flow for hours while on location.
The sign with blank canvas.
Starting the sign: Definitely “feeling Vegas” after my first 24 hours (straight) of high-octane performance, I begin by capturing outlines of the forms to which I am attracted.
Borbay and Ari take different angles.
My experience of Las Vegas up to the point of the creation of this piece, including the walk to and from the sign carrying easels, booze, and other necessary supplies, lead me to see the sign and the strip of road that it is on as a desert portal that sucks you into the glitz,excitement, beauty, theatrical glamour, potential dangers and everything else that is fabulous Las Vegas.
With this in mind I set to work on the piece for the next couple of days. After the foundation was laid in oil paint, I began the painstaking process of applying tiny individual pieces of gold and silver leaf over the entire canvas. I have used these materials on several previous works to represent surface luxury and opulence, and I felt that they were very fitting to the subject matter of this one.
Day turns into night, and into day again.
Not one to miss out on the action, my work travels with me – in this case to the sports book at the Luxor for playoff hockey.
The finished piece must be experienced in person for full effect. The slightest changes in light and shadow (and even reflections of the colors of the clothes worn by the viewer) bring it to life in an effect that is quite remarkable.
This piece is currently available and is on private exhibition in Las Vegas – viewings by appointment.