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Robert Beckmann takes us through his painting ‘The Three Graces’

“’The Three Graces’ acknowledges the vast and amazing forces of change happening in our valley. Seemingly overnight, hotels disappear, others are built, others, ‘underwater,’ await deconstruction. The process often seems arbitrary or capricious as Lady Luck waves her wand … and voila, built, abandoned or gone.

“In my painting, luck (here represented by the Blue Angel, from the old motel of the same name on Fremont) confronts Lady Liberty. Liberty represents opportunity — Dave Hickey used to say Vegas gives you ‘permission.’ And the crane? Change, construction, creativity, renewal.

“Opportunity, luck, hard work — the three graces necessary for the success of any enterprise.”

Robert Beckmann: Retrospective is on view at VAST Space Projects, 730 W. Sunset Road, through June 15. Beckmann is scheduled be in conversation with novelist Douglas Unger at 7 p.m., May 16.