Downtown Las Vegas Arts District Coolidge Ave and S. 1st Street
Photo: Paint This Desert
Jerry Misko’s “Welcome To Las Vegas” mural plays off his prolific painting style; portraits of textured and weathered signs by day, or the moment of a neon flash at night. The 2009 commission by a realty television show, co-sponsored by the Office of Cultural Affairs, was Misko's reading of the city’s high profile name tag (and used as a placeholder here since December). His art has a deep affection for a disappearing Vegas, and the typographic daring of modernist signs that flagged in visitors off the highways.
Misko’s paintings, and other murals, are details of light shaped in manic abstraction. It’s now moved into painting black form on black shading, tapping into the monochromatic textures of sculpture Louise Nevelson, or dark stillness from painter Ad Reinhardt. I refer to Misko’s black art because in this photo the lampost's shadow on the wall, and the darker shade of black paint trying to cover a tag, are an accidental application of his black-on-black series.
It’s also the angle that carries this past the usual reproduction of the sign. Misko picks a point of view that would have him stand off to the side so he can watch the lights flash and still give him an angle to watch faces of the people he brought to meet the sign.