Naked Las Vegas by Greg Friedler

Issue 20

Naked Las Vegas is the manifestation of my desire to document the various types of people who exist within the city of Las Vegas. I am fueled by a sincere desire to further understand people, their roles in society, and their essential existence. I am concerned with identity. I am curious how someone’s occupation may or may not define them within the larger American culture. I believe that clothing is an important hint into what a person may represent, but of course this may be altered according to how an individual would like to appear to the world. I see nakedness as a great equalizer. When naked, the subject is pure and without our expectations or labels. However it is interesting to note that now, even when people are naked, we can gain insight into that individual through their choices like fake breasts, plastic surgery, body jewelry, tattoos, and pubic grooming. I found it very interesting that most of the women (and some men as well) had no pubic hair. This is was a major shift from 1995 when I photographed Naked New York and most folks were “au natural.”

I chose Las Vegas as my last “naked” city for good reason. Las Vegas is a culture of artifice and excess: huge buffets, enormous garish casinos, huge Hummer limos, oversized bling, and huge fake breasts. It is a crude, slick version of the American dream, an air conditioned, man-made paradise. The Strip is all about raw capitalism that offers a fabricated bliss for those who choose to indulge. Everyone is trying to realize their dreams in Las Vegas, the American dream of making it, living the high life, and being worth lots of money. I have never seen a place where the assumptions of ecstasy and pain, life and death, and winning and losing are so evident and in your face.

Greg Friedler is a Denver, Colorado based artist.
To view more of Greg's work, please visit his website.