Las Vegas Artist Working On Gov. Gibbons Painting Despite Not Being Selected For Official Portrait

CARSON CITY – Budding Las Vegas artist Alex Krasky was not selected to paint the official portrait of out-going Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons for display in the state capitol, but he is going ahead with his canvas anyway with the hopes of personally presenting his work to the governor.

When he first learned of the competition to paint the governor’s portrait and submitted his proposal, Krasky decided to go forward with a painting without knowing if he would be selected. When he was not named as the finalist, Krasky said he was already well in progress on the portrait and decided to finish the work.

“I already spent a couple of weeks drawing it so I decided just to keep drawing because, what do I have to lose,” he said. “It’s a good image.

“I want to hand it to him personally, that is what my dream is,” Krasky said.

The as yet unfinished painting shows Gibbons with the Nevada state flag as a backdrop.

Alex Krasky's work-in-progress portrait of Gov. Jim Gibbons

Krasky, 40, was laid off from his job as a federal agency security officer in late 2008 and only took up a paintbrush a little over a year ago after spending years doing sketches. Since that time, he has produced about 50 works, including sketches, and has received some favorable attention for his efforts.

He has painted film director James Cameron and the late performer Michael Jackson in combination with the Cirque Du Soleil cast, among others.

The former Russian left his native country in 1997, traveling through several Latin American countries, sometimes illegally, before finally arriving in the U.S. and becoming a legal resident.

His 36-inch by 48-inch portrait of Gibbons is not in the traditional style but more of a commercial approach, Krasky said. He expects to finish it in a few more weeks.

Gibbons earlier this month picked a Washington state artist to paint his official portrait for the $20,000 commission. Forty-four applications were received.

Jill Lufrano, a spokeswoman for Gibbons, called Krasky’s art “amazing” after seeing it on YouTube.

“Unfortunately only one artist was able to be selected for the official portrait,” she said. “But I’m sure Gov. Gibbons would be delighted to have Alex give him the portrait. It would be an honor for the governor to have it in his collection.”

Krasky said his wife suggested he try painting in oils after seeing his sketches. An art teacher he went to for lessons said his technique was fine and there was nothing she could show him. After being less than impressed by a second teacher, Krasky went forward on his own.

Krasky said he has not tried to sell his work but he has received media interest, including a report last year about his Michael Jackson work by ABC Channel 13 Action News.

“It is my passion,” he said. “The problem is I’m not noticed. I’m just working at home without showing it to anybody.”

Krasky’s works, including the Gibbons work-in-progress, can be viewed on a YouTube video.

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Audio clips:

Alex Krasky says he will finish his Gibbons portrait even those he was not selected as the finalist:

082610Krasky1 :31 to lose . . right.”

Krasky says he decided to start painting about a year ago and is self-taught:

082610Krasky2 :27 have anything to learn.”

Krasky says he paints for pleasure:

082610Krasky3 :17 it to anybody.”

  • http://www.angerisbrewing.com Debbie Landis

    Isn’t it a shame Governor Gibbons couldn’t settle on an artist from Nevada to begin with? In this economy I find it hard to believe we couldn’t keep this money in state.

    We have companies who make fuel extension systems in Nevada yet our stimulus funds for police car fuel idler system went to Texas.

    If these are messages legislators want to send, they better get used to losing primaries.

  • http://nevadanewbureau MICHAEL

    this picture business is PATHETIC, we need to cut our budget 57% and then worry about 10s of thousands to pay for picture of the gov.
    They have a great system where you can take a photo and have it made into a oil portrait and it only costs around $65. dollars , add a REALLY REALLY EXPENSIVE FRAME AND YOU GET $1,000. DOLLARS

  • Jan

    No, this picutre business is NOT pathetic. This wasn’t about $$$. I have personally seen Alex Krasky’s work, know the kind of man he is, how difficult it has been for him to find work and could not believe he was not chosen to paint the Governor’s portrait. It would have been an honor for both Governor Gibbons to hang this man’s work in the State’s Capital and it would have been an honor for Mr. Krasky to do it. He was so willing to just get his work out there. His work speaks for itself. What an honor it would have been for Mr. Gibbons choosing an artist who is out of work within his state and he would have been more than satisfied with the fine work this man does. After looking at this portrait, partially completed, the likeness is simply unbelievable. What else could you ask for. This if beyond belief. This man should have been given a chance to show his great God-given talent. It really shows once again, the common sense this state has with such talent right in front of you. I believe Alex can go anywhere else in this country and receive the opportunity of becoming noticed as the fine artist he is. Shame on you once again Nevada.

  • Shirley Rappaport

    What a great likness of Gibbons. I have seen some of his work before—just a matter of time before he becomes famous in my opinion.

  • Anonymous

    Hey, “Jan”…You aren’t by any chance Alexei’s wife, are you???