Hunter Barnes – Off the Strip

Hunter Barnes – Off the Strip (September 2018)

Photographer Hunter Barnes has an extraordinary ability to document aspects of American culture and communities ignored by the mainstream and often misrepresented in the modern media. In Off The Strip, Barnes explores the Las Vegas of old, and the people who shaped the town in its heyday. 

Known for developing strong relationships with his subjects and forging bonds with the people he photographs, Hunter Barnes spent January 2017 meeting the original characters of old Vegas. Their lives a vivid reminder of the past, Hunter’s subjects in Off The Strip are a living embodiment of the now-demolished landmarks these people frequented and defined. Remaining sites like the old Cigar Lounge, where the real Las Vegas characters of the late-60s and early-70s still hang out, are as much a part of Barnes’s Las Vegas story as their devoted clientele.

Barnes’ remarkable portraits provide rare insight into the lives and landmarks of the real Las Vegas, from the first fully nude showgirl, Lisa Medford, to bodyguards, lounge singers, pit managers, boxing judges, cocktail waitresses and peep shows. This remarkable study of Las Vegas captures a unique blend of obscure and familiar detail, enabling Barnes to continue his quest to document overlooked and forgotten communities in America that teeter on the edge of disappearance.

In his early twenties, Hunter Barnes (b. 1977) self-published his first book, Redneck Roundup, which documented the dying communities of the Old West. Other projects followed: four years were spent with the Nez Perce tribe; months with a serpent-handling congregation in the Appalachian Mountains; bikers, lowriders, and street gangs; inmates in California State Prison. Intense, true pockets and sub-cultures of America. Hunter shoots exclusively on film – the pace of analogue in harmony with his approach. Fundamental to Hunter’s work is the journey, the people, the place. hen committing them to film before they are greatly changed or gone forever.


Please mail with any Hunter Barnes exhibition print enquiries.


‘Few cities are imbued with more legend than Las Vegas. Off the Strip is a photographic study of the Nevada city’s characters by Hunter Barnes, people who have been there for decades and lived through what they would call its “glory days” – casino bosses, showgirls, waitresses and managers. Barnes also captures Las Vegas’ architecture in vivid colour, neon motel signs glowing in the dark and baby pink Cadillacs shining in the bright sunshine.’ AnOther Magazine