Change is a constant in Las Vegas. Implosions are dramatic and swift. What comes down is memorable. But what goes up? Hardly exhilarating. From this vantage, though, I saw an opportunity to record history and the reshaping of our city.
I began shooting CityCenter when it was just a barren field. After five years of quixotic commitment, shooting from the same spot every two or three months, I had accumulated hundreds of shots. What next? Each phase of the building process was interesting, but not stunning. The notion of layering hit me, inspired by those cellophane pages of human anatomy in old encyclopedias. I would compose a time-lapse in depth, using only slivers and bits of images from various intervals.
I used basic Photoshop elements — no trickery or embellishments. Every image is in its genuine location. CityCenter (2006-2010) honed my technique for High-Roller (2014), then T-Mobile Arena (2015-2016), before the ambitious Allegiant Stadium (2017-2020), which holds some 300 images from a span of three years.
While construction isn’t as enthralling as demolition, I hope this series manages to scramble time and remain coherent, reflecting the dynamic growth of a city forever thirsty for reinvention.
The Las Vegas Layered series is on exhibit indefinitely at AW Gallery in the Arts Factory, 105 E. Charleston Blvd. See more of Thomas’ work at armandthomas.com.