weather icon Clear
RJ App
Vegas News, Alerts, ePaper

Las Vegas prop specialist adds masks to the Strip

Updated April 13, 2020 - 2:48 pm

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.

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by John Rohling (@johnarohling) on

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.”

View this post on Instagram

MAT FRANCO..the Linq

A post shared by John Rohling (@johnarohling) on

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.

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by John Rohling (@johnarohling) on

“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.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.