That was the vision captured by Tim Levy in her last exhibition in the Black Eye Gallery. I found a small place to open my mind and see the world through this photographer’s eyes, which were focused in something I called social irony, and Vegas has a lot of places to find it. However, Tim should invest a precious gift we all have, time to find the precise images, the right people, the perfect illumination, the satirical view, in other words, to let us consider the value of timing.
He must travel to Las Vegas three times for getting the complete collection named Lost Vegas. As part of his personal experience he mentioned that in the second one he got sick by food poisoned; during his first trip he didn’t find so much to work with; however, the muse appeared on time to let him collect through the camera’s lens the sides of luck.
In 2007, 39.2 million visitors spent their money in Las Vegas, Nevada (US). Usually, this number of people is going to visit this city each year to get married, to spend money in the city’s casinos, to dream big, to enjoy the luxury and extravaganza in every possible way. It is the city to forget responsibilities and becoming a Wild One, no rules, no regrets and everything happened there, stayed there.
However, an open invitation to feed all kind of appetites wouldn’t let out the risk of violence, blood, danger, sex, drugs, in a few words… what the majority of Quentin Tarantino‘s fans love in his movies. It is on the list of dangerous cities with 43.4 violent crimes per 10,000 residents, which made it occupy the 21st place on the list created by the Business Insider. It is easy to understand why they located the most famous lab team for solving crime in America in this city.
It is an interesting exhibition, I couldn’t lie each image would provoke a strong impression on the visitor. Undoubtedly, my favourite one was the Apricot Sunset, the desert with a sunset’s beautiful illumination gave you a chance to breathe in the middle of all excesses. Another magnificent image is The Gambler, this work won as an image of Head On Landscape Prize and a finalist image for Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award.
If you want to enjoy the real spirit of Las Vegas and all the contrast you could see inside their community, this is a great opportunity to see beyond the bright lights, the spectacle, the amusing entertainment, for enjoying the other side of the coin, the one which didn’t get enough luck.
So you will find the people arriving to have a wedding; the brides looking quite concerned about her future with a gambler in front of the tables; the shooters, the pride Americans, the homeless citizens, the illegal immigrants working as advertisers of sex work, probably, something they would have never done in their own countries; the sex workers with fabulous bodies and lines giving her back to the lens and her face to her client, the strippers, the game, the gamblers, the sexual element, the guns, the classic American design and the wild spirit in the middle of the desert. You are welcome more than welcome to enjoy the illusion of spending money on all kinds of pleasure and also, watch how others live in complete misery in a city publicized as a Paradise for losing control.
I don’t believe Tim tried to give any lecture about Economics and poverty but he used his camera with a great dose of wisdom to show, probably, the same surprise we found in the contrast of this city explored in each image, because people living on the streets is something you can find anywhere, even in the Sydney CBD so, what calls the attention of the viewer in this exhibition is the dramatic truth beyond an over-advertised and tempting surface.