Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas is a street carnival of sorts, with live music, enough food to bust a gut, vendors selling Vegas souvenirs, and costumed characters and celebrity impersonators posing for photos with tourists. But my favorite street “performers” on Fremont Street are the spray paint artists. One part Bob Ross, one part graffiti artist, one part showman, these guys produce some amazing work. It’s spell-binding to watch a piece of blank white poster board be transformed into a sunset over the Strip or the Bellagio fountain show at night in just a few minutes by a guy armed with little but cans of spray paint.
This particular school of art is known as Aerosolgrafia, which originated in Mexico City in the early 1980s and has since spread to other cities around the world. You can read more about Aerosolgrafia here at Wikipedia. Here’s some video I shot during my last trip of one of these guys, Tony Vegas, in action:
What does the finished product look like? Like this:
One thing that I noticed while shooting this video is that Tony is not wearing any kind of mask to protect against the toxic chemicals of the spray paint. I was standing several feet away, and even I was overwhelmed by the fumes, which were blowing in my direction. I’d seen some younger guys working on the previous night, and they did wear masks, which I thought was pretty sensible.
Personally, I think this is one of the best free shows available in Las Vegas. And where else can you purchase an original work of art, custom-ordered, produced in eight minutes or less for around $40? Next time you’re in town, head on down to Fremont Street and check them out. Those pictures make great souvenirs. Just sayin’.