It’s well documented. Las Vegas, should you visit it, will leave a certain residue on your person. There’s something simultaneously enticing yet flat out nasty about the city, and this ephemeral aftertaste is hard to wash away. Garish lights mar out the decades of cigarette residue while pancake makeup obscures the working girl’s hard earned rictus grimace-lines. Paul Turounet’s photo essay, “Gardens of Paradise,” takes the lavish rococo overzealousness of Liberace’s chosen stage and the swill of a billion tourists and combines them into a photographic series that entices, these are the portraits of the beautiful reflective watery surfaces that one walks by every day, and the stories and refuse they contain.
Imagine a city in the middle of the desert, a barren, missile test site corpse which holds an absurd amount of fountains. There’s a great deal of symbolic meaning to a fountain, but really these photos emanate a city’s affected disdain and waste. The fountains are the excess and the fountains hold the excess of the gawkers and workers that feed in and out of the tourist centers. Paul Turounet documents the detritus and the flowers, the monuments and the trash, the water washing away the waste that separates Las Vegas from the sands that contain it.
jdc Fine Arts
2400 Kettner Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92101
Tuesday by appointment
Wednesday through Friday 11am-5pm, Saturday noon–5pm