Las Vegas Fever? Yes, and No. - Kathryn Kramer Waters
Portland, Oregon artist who creates outrageous conclusions with a fine-point pen.
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men in Las Vegas

Las Vegas Fever? Yes, and No.


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I use my phone almost constantly, primarily as a picture-taking device, though I have been known to talk to people between shots. I snapped these on the Las Vegas strip some time ago, about a month after my mother was diagnosed with stage4 lung cancer, and a couple hours before becoming as sick as I’ve ever been in my entire life–except for a bout of pneumonia that landed me in the hospital for nine days. Whatever it was I contracted brought with it a fever that made my bones feel like broken glass and rose two full degrees to 104.5 in the 30 minutes I was at Urgent Care, thereby catapulting me to the Las Vegas ER, which, though probably not as bizarre as the Luxor where we were staying, was arguably not as sterile, either.  Somehow, I survived.

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My husband and I are in no way Vegas aficionados, not gamblers at all per se –unless you consider artistic-risk-taking gambling, which it is in an existential sort of way. We had come to there celebrate the 60th birthday of a good friend.
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I snapped these images not long after we arrived. The photo below is one of my favorites from the trip.


men on Las Vegas Strip
What I imagine I was aiming to capture was the pervasive, if elusive, aura of emptiness tinged with menace I perceived while walking up and down the Strip that day in the low January sunshine… on the other hand, I may have been aiming for something else entirely. I could have been thinking of anything at all–including fluorescent poodles–given how rapidly I was going viral.  As I study the picture now what I see is less menace than erosion, the way particular shades and angles of light eat away at the edges of all they touch. This makes me think about memories and the way they are nibbled away at by time… which is likely one of they reasons I continue to snap all these pictures.

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