Another Look at Casinos

Artist Lisa Esherick has a series of paintings titled Casino that captures one of the elements that has always fascinated me about Las Vegas: the faces of gamblers. I picked up on her from VegasTripping and pass her work along to you.

Here are her notes on the series:

Following the Baths series I began my Casino series, inspired by a chance visit to Reno with a European friend in tow. I was immediately attracted to the outrageousness, the acid coloring and quality of light of the American gambling casino — an atmosphere that maintains a perpetual sense of night, no clocks allowed, time is lost, responsibilities abandoned, as money moves. I wanted to catch the constant shiftyness, uncertainty, edginess — a sense of silent watching and being watched. As a painter, a natural voyeur, I am both watcher and watched.

On later visits to a Siberian casino and two in Germany I found a less garish, semmingly more elegant, black-tie affair when it came to gambling. The gaming rooms were high-ceilinged, wood-panelled and chandeliered with tables more blue than green. Coats and ties were the code; if you came without, you rented at the door. This was a traditional world, harking back to Doestoevsky's time and before, when the spa culture, "the Cure" was the activity of the day and the gambling casino was the activity of the night.

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