A celebration of award-winning Swiss photographer Markus Klinko took place September 6 in the iconic “Elvis Suite” at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino. Located on the thirtieth floor, the 13,200-square-foot newly renamed Markus Klinko ICONS Sky Villa is the perfect setting for Klinko’s work, which features high fashion, celebrities, and musicians, from David Bowie and Britney Spears to Lady Gaga and Mariah Carey. The glamorous suite, which sleeps up to 10 people, has, in addition to Klinko’s masterpieces, a fireplace, bar, dining room, private pool, and a Jacuzzi in every room. It’s available for $15,000 a night!
Klinko began his career as a concert harpist and classical recording artist. When a hand injury prevented him from continuing that career path, his followed his dream of becoming a photographer. He parlayed his discipline and dedication to music into teaching himself photography. Klinko’s big break arrived in 2001, when he shot the cover art for David Bowie’s album Heathen.
The individual opulence of each of Klinko’s photographs compels the viewer to stop and take enough time to absorb his stunning stylings. A photograph of British style icon Daphne Guinness, for example, was taken in New York City’s Central Park. “She’s leaning over a lake!” Klinko said. “She could have died, but she was dedicated to capturing the art!”
Klinko says his display in the “Elvis Suite” is unique and unprecedented. Over fifty of his works are now permanently on display there. He calls it a pop culture hall of fame and also a work in progress. He’s planning to expand the collection with photographs of Barry Manilow who is currently in residence at Westgate.
Upon seeing some of his work embellished with crystals, or, as Klink put it, “Las Vegas ‘glamour glitz,’” he called the suite the perfect setting for his work. “The ultimate performer was Elvis,” he said. “There’s not a performer in the world that wouldn’t want to be associated with that!” He added that he wants to photograph Priscilla in the suite to amplify and preserve the Elvis legacy.