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Las Vegas prop specialist adds masks to the Strip

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April 14, 2020 By John Katsilometes

John Rohling scanned the Las Vegas Strip a few weeks ago, and felt it needed something.

Masks. Many well-placed masks.

Rohling is a props technician for Cirque du Soleil’s “Mystere” show who is currently on work furlough. He’s also a freelance photographer (he’s worked “One Night for One Drop”) with a sharp eye.

On March 22, the Sunday after Strip resorts shut down under COVID-19 measures, Rohling dropped by the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign and took some shots of the sparsely attended attraction.

One of Rohling’s subjects was a nurse in a mask and gloves. Rohling took a few pics, then ventured north on the Strip.

“I saw the Statue of Liberty and thought, ‘Oh, my God. What would she look like with a mask?” Rohling said. “Then I saw the building wrap at MGM Grand for David Copperfield, the lion out front, and I thought the same thing. I had to take pictures of all this and do something with it.”

Rohling used Google Image to modify his original images, adding masks with shadows and creases for authenticity. The visual artist has since masked Copperfield, Carrot Top’s billboard at Luxor, Penn & Teller on the Strip-facing side of the Rio, the Bliss Dance statue at The Park, the top of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, and the Beatles and the Siegfried & Roy statue (including the tiger) at The Mirage.

“I had to make Carrot Top’s orange to match his hair, and Teller’s cover almost his whole face, because he doesn’t talk,” Rohling says. “I wanted to show a little of how they are.”

Rohling calls the project “CoronaVegas,” and it is showcased primarily on his @JohnRohling Instagram page. His Easter Sunday post was the cast of “Zumanity” at New York-New York. The series is a nod to front-line health professionals and is ongoing.

“I’ve been trying to add a little humor to what we’re going through,” Rohling says. “It’s fun, it’s funny and it looks realistic. That’s what I like.”


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