Leaving Las Vegas: Perimeter Landscapes

The starting point for an ongoing Western landscape project, exiting Las Vegas became the subject itself due to recurring thematic scenery. Think: New Typographics landscapes or deadpan style. I was thinking of the film Leaving Las Vegas. In that story an alcoholic screenwriter and a prostitute fall in love under a backdrop of shiny neon and lurking danger.

This series imagines their drive out of town if the script's ending were different.

How to describe the gritty feel of walking the gauntlet of hawkers along the gaudy strip, then the elation in driving out of town to photograph nature? Moving away from the center, the transition in terrain matched my mood frame for frame. While I did not photograph the plastic bags stuck in wire fences around the homeless tent city going north out of town, a partially hidden Zombie Bus had me at hello.

Pictures that imply fiction beguile me beyond words. In younger days I would scribble down dialogue after hearing conversational snippets around Manhattan, and now I take photos and imagine scenarios about certain places and the people who live there to make my own story about mixing the past with now. There's more to this area then just the Strip.

- Jan Arrigo