LAS VEGAS (Thomas Kinkade, 2009)

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This picture shows a beautiful sunset from a helicopter’s view in the city of Las Vegas. It is an available limited edition, which belongs to Thomas Kinkade called “Painter of light” because he started to incorporate multiple sources of light in his paintings. This image is posted on the official website of the author.  It portrays Las Vegas Strip in 2009, the most famous avenue in the USA. The author of this piece is known because he used to paint a pastel or oil in order to saturate the colours and create bright glare as shown in the image. What makes this picture awesome is the style of the work because of its colour tones and its brightness; that was the reason why I chose this picture.

Kinkade prints a particular character that evokes the American Enlightenment showing Las Vegas. The painter displayed inspirational messages through a very American theme, that is fullo of symbolism. For example, he uses birds on this painting to represent peace and freedom; the light represents God’s influence; and the movement symbolizes continuous change in life. Kinkade uses the light sign of «Welcome to fabulous Las Vegas» to remind us to share the light, guide others and love them. In addition, it was built by Western Neon and used the distinctive design of Populuxe architecture, very popular at that time. Last but not least, he embodies the lives that have passed using clouds. For this reason, its lack of human content and his excessive patriotism was often criticized.

Due to the large presence of casinos this city is known as the entertainment capital or Sin City because of the peculiarity of gambling and betting and also because of its excellent and fascinating shows. It is said that this is one of the most visited cities of the United States of America not only because of its natural recreational but also its archaeological, cultural, historic and scenic value. Las Vegas comprises a thousand and one wonders that allow tourists a range of possibilities as we can see in the picture. The social activity in the city is based mainly on the tertiary sector. On the other hand, most businessmen had taken advantage of tourism in order to create institutions like museums or attractions. What is more, there are shopping centres, sights and shows. Also, they use spectacular sceneries where you could visit different countries without leaving the city. But the most famous activity is to sell weddings in the presence of actors who imitate famous people like Elvis. Culture has a place in town, walking, but intense with The Neon Museum, among others, as well as music, because in this city we can find numerous festivals devoted to jazz or rock for example. The image shows the large number of lights make Las Vegas one of the cities with the highest light pollution in the United States; nevertheless the light is their main weapon to attract tourists.

The CBD of this city is in the busy centre of the city that corresponds to the street that we see in the picture (the main street) which is the commercial area of it. Therefore, we can find in the city centre large buildings that hide casinos and hotels of all kinds and in the outskirts, a mass of houses that extends across the desert. The city has a regular urban layout, a grid plan that consists of groups of clustered nucleated houses spread on residential areas with the CBD crossing the city. The old quarter corresponds to Freemont Street, which was the highest representative of Las Vegas until the creation of large buildings on the Strip. It is a city whose story has been told thousands of times in films like The Hangover, Casino, Ocean’s eleven, etc. Furthermore, its wonderful landscape has been the scene of numerous series as Vegas. This wonderful city is also known for its famous What Happens Here, Stays Here (R&R Partners, 2003).

«Las Vegas is an island of light in the middle of nowhere… A black sea with an incredible source of light emanating from the city and its infamous Strip… You can almost see the electricity running through it» (Vincent Laforet, 2002). Analyzing this paradise we can find that Las Vegas has an effect island to be located in the middle of a desert in Nevada, is an arid area surrounded by mountains. Furthermore, it has a desert climate with very little rain and extremely hot in the summer so people use tunnels and corridors to move from one casino to another. 

Rebeca de Antonio Franco