Artist to get $25,000 to paint Gov. Pawlenty's official portrait
Below is the news release from soon-to-be former Gov. Tim Pawlenty's office regarding his official portrait.
I realize $25,000 is probably a bargain as portrait paintings by famous artists go. But it seems odd that Pawlenty, who earned a reputation as a penny pincher during his eight years in office, would agree to fork over that kind of money for a painting.
Couldn't he find an up-and-coming Minnesota artist to do it for, say, half that. (This guy is based in Atlanta.) Or maybe an accomplished Minnesota artist would donate his or her services, just for the opportunity to get a little exposure.
I've enjoyed looking at the official portraits of the governor when I've been at the Capitol. They're entertaining. You've got Rudy Perpich, who insisted that his portrait include his wife Lola. And Gov. Arne Carlson, who is wearing a University of Minnesota letter jacket in his portrait, even though he's not originally from Minnesota and didn't attend the U. And you've got Gov. Jesse Ventura, who opted to be shown with a big ol' stogie in his portrait, hanging in a building, the State Capitol, that's been smoke-free for years. But the most priceless touch in Jesse the Body's portrait is that his right hand is resting on a small replica of Rodin's "The Thinker."
I know $25,000 isn't much money these days in the scheme of things. But still. You could buy two Rochester signs at MSP Airport with that.
Saint Paul – Governor Pawlenty announced today that he has selected the artist Rossin to paint his official portrait. When completed, the framed portrait will hang in the Minnesota State Capitol along with the official portraits of each of the state’s previous governors.
Ross R. Rossin, who goes by the name Rossin, is a Bulgarian-born American artist based in Atlanta, Georgia.
Rossin’s extensive work has earned him international acclaim, and his paintings of political and business leaders have been featured across the globe. Important commissions include U.S. Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush, the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, and most recently, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue. Rossin is also especially well regarded for the recent American Royalty Collection which includes stunning, photograph-like portraits of many famous individuals, including Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
Rossin and his family relocated to the United States in 2001, and earlier this year, he officially became a citizen of the United States. "Rossin’s life story and paintings are truly remarkable," said Governor Tim Pawlenty. "Initially, I was struck by the superb quality of work and especially his realistic style. Upon meeting with Rossin, I found him to be an extraordinarily interesting man whose strong work ethic, talent, and character epitomize many of the intrinsic values that have made our country exceptional. Mary and I congratulate Rossin on becoming a citizen and will be pleased to see the finished painting."
Governor Pawlenty’s official portrait will be unveiled in 2011. The unveiling will be coordinated in conjunction with the Minnesota Historical Society.