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Images From The Photography Series Exhibited At Carnevale Gallery


Traveling Broadway shows performing in Las Vegas, plays, and entertainment on the Strip thrived until March 17, 2020. In the early evening hours, there would be a mandated shut down due to the pandemic. All of the stages in Las Vegas went dark. Las Vegas-based gallery owner Tony Carnevale partnered with architecture photographer John Mastrogiacomo to capture the landscape of the Entertainment Capital of the World during this time which would last more than a year. Carnevale and Mastrogiacomo have released the book Las Vegas Shutdown 2020, filled with an artistic photographic gallery of this unprecedented time.

Mastrogiacomo, a resident of Las Vegas since 1978, has photographed Southern Nevada for years. When the Strip closed, and he started to document it in images, "It was so strange. The last time the Strip was closed was in 1963 when President Kennedy was shot. Caesars Palace had not been built then, so it was the first time Caesars Palace has ever been closed." In fact, Carnevale and Mastrogiacomo got exclusive permission to photograph the interior of Caesars Palace, Harrah's, Paris Las Vegas, and Bally's.

As the pandemic continued, the two would take their time to capture the proper lighting and feel. According to Mastrogiacomo, they went out 25 times during different times of the day to capture the perfect shot.

Carnevale GalleryThe Carnevale Gallery Las Vegas Fine Art Photography has been operating for six years with locations in the Forum Shops at Caesars and inside Appian Way in Caesars Palace. Carnevale is a musician (drummer) and has been around art and music for all of his life, and has lived in Las Vegas for 22 years.

"On March 17 (2020), the governor of Nevada gave notice that all non-essential businesses needed to be closed by that evening. We were then notified by Caesars that we had to be out by noon the following day," explains Carnevale. "The next day, when I returned, I saw the slots being powered down, and there was a deafening silence in the casino as the last hotel guests were checking out." Shrouded in uncertainty, when Carnevale looked outside and saw the desolation of the once-bustling Strip, he knew he wanted to document this unprecedented time in history.

They began to scout locations throughout the city's world-famous landscape. Unique content included the empty stages once filled with entertainment with surrounding casino floors lacking their signature neon energy. There was no traffic on Las Vegas Boulevard. Signs reading "Closed" were displayed prominently at places of worship and other businesses.

"The experts were saying Vegas won't come back until 2022 or maybe 2023. My mission was to showcase what the city is all about in a different way. The city is usually filled with pedestrian traffic, neon lights, music, and noise, and there are so many subtleties to Las Vegas that can be missed. While exploring the place while creating this book, I saw so many things I never noticed before, even though I passed by it hundreds of times," says Carnevale. "I wanted to share the beauty of this place with everyone."

Las Vegas Shutdown 2020 is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Apple Books. Experience how the book was created by visiting For more info about the gallery, visit

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