Secrets stay behind and anything goes in this desert playground of Las Vegas. Gardens of Paradise embraces the grit thinly veiled by symbols of vanity- the pools and gardens of the Strip, an area known as “Paradise.”
Here companionship is available for a price, and images of girls are handed out like candied promises on cards with “glamour shots” and phone numbers. Card-snappers compete and pass out cards to anyone whose hands graciously or begrudgingly takes them. You have your choice of women: White, Black, or Asian- direct to your room in 20 minutes, and for cheap. There is Gina, who is on special for $47. Her card states that she is a ‘real girl, not a model’; there is Jazmine who is available for a Happy Hour Special at $99; or Beth and Bella available at the 2 for 1 price. And there’s Brit, Bridget, Belinda and Becky – each for $150 and with no hidden fees.
Come dawn, cards litter the street like confetti after a party. The sensibility of these images is deeply layered. They speak to lustful desire and private excess, the hollow promise of companionship, and the ethics of the sex trade. Beyond these immediate associations are other more subtle implications that unfold when the works are removed from the stigma of their location, including the general visual consumption of the nude, the perception of beauty, obsession with youth, and insatiable craving of fantasy, leaving the viewer free to indulge in both sumptuous and guiltless viewing.