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‘Wait, is that real?’: The story behind the most wildly painted house in Las Vegas

Updated January 15, 2023 - 2:17 pm

It’s a splash of color amid a landscape largely devoid of it, countering the surrounding drab like a rainbow slicing through a swath of stubborn storm clouds.

Across from an undeveloped stretch of land on the city’s southwestern side — all sand and scrub and rock; faceless — there it stands, a one-story home with many stories to tell, visually.

Aesthetically speaking, it speaks loudly: Taking it in is akin to gazing through a kaleidoscope sans the kaleidoscope, said instrument replaced by the walls of a multimillion-dollar mansion awash in geometric shapes whose color palate answers the eternal question: what would it look like if a lava lamp had a baby with a box of crayons?

The artwork wraps around the east- and north-facing facade of the house and conveys a tunnel effect of sorts, registering as a three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle with a Tetris-like arrangement of cubes, diamonds and other abstractions of the mind’s eye.

Walk past the driveway full of high-end rides — a purple Lamborghini Urus, a Carbahn BMW M8, a white Corvette Stingray, a GMC Denali, the gas can that reads, ‘I wanna go fast juice’ — and take a closer look: The more you stare at it, the more it reveals itself.

This is the whole point according to the blue-haired, multimillionaire 30-year-old who commissioned the piece.

“You actually have to look into it and go, ‘What’s going on here?’” explains Brandon Bowsky, who bought the house in September. “You can’t just look past it or glance, you really have to look.

“I still find stuff all the time,” he continues, reflecting on the artwork’s myriad details, all this brightly hued nuance. “It makes you stop and actually focus. It’s kind of what it’s all about: looking past the surface level.”

But oh how those surfaces stand out: you can spot Bowsky’s home half a mile away — go ahead, crane your neck while shuttling down Buffalo Drive, it’s worth it.

In a city with no shortage of seven- and eight-figure luxury homes, Bowsky’s pad just may be the most eye-popping in the valley, adorned with one-of-a-kind artwork to the tune of $50,000.

“I wasn’t buying the house thinking, ‘I’m going to put a bunch of art on it,’” Bowsky notes. “I bought the house because I was like, ‘This is a great location, it’s a nice area, it’s very quiet.’ And then afterwards I was like, ‘We got something here.’”

A $2 million blank slate

“If you come back here to the basketball court, you’ll kind of get it.”

Bowsky strolls past the massive pool in his football-field-sized backyard, walking up a few steps to get a better view of the back of his house.

He bought the place a few months back because he has numerous friends in Vegas and as an avid surfer and snowboarder wanted to be closer to mountains and the Pacific Ocean. When he viewed aerial photos of the rear of his property, he saw a blank slate, a canvas in need of color.

“I was like, ‘Man, this is a giant area, what should I do here?’” he recalls. “If you imagine, you’re up here, and you’re looking back, and this whole thing is just gray and there’s nothing else there. It’s a little boring.”


Can’t have that.

Bowksy’s very visage underscores as much: the dyed ’do, the arms teeming with tattoos, including an image of a fire hydrant that reads, “I put out fires.”

“I got that tattoo because I got super tired of people asking me what I did for a living,” he explains.

So, what does Bowsky do?

Currently, he’s president and CEO of Minerva Marketing, the multi-pronged marketing and advertising agency he founded a few years back with roots in the insurance industry.

A former DJ-producer in his native Florida — Bowsky still has a recording studio in his home — Bowksy left the music business in 2015 upon feeling that he needed to do something else with his life.

After a failed startup, Bowksy was living in his car when an acquaintance told him he had a gig enrolling people into Medicare.

Intrigued, Bowksy got his insurance license and started his own insurance company shortly thereafter, building it into a multimillion-dollar enterprise before launching his marketing agency, which is his focus now with an emphasis on developing new technology for the industry.

Bowsky credits the skills he honed as an aspiring DJ with his success later on in his career.

“I was good at networking, good at talking to people,” he says. “I started doing the exact same thing in insurance; got to know everybody in that space. Did the same thing in the marketing space. I think the business development skills that I learned from being a struggling DJ probably helped me a lot.”

All this from a man with little formal education: Bowksy dropped out of high school when he was 15 after getting into an argument with his AP psychology teacher in class.

“He was like, ‘Since you know everything, why are you even here? You shouldn’t even be in school; you should just quit,’” Bowsky recalls. “I was like, ‘Oh, great idea.’ I literally did it, that day — left school that day. That’s my life.”

‘Wait, is that real?’

Much of Las Vegas pulses with color: the neon glow of downtown; the bright lights of the Strip, all that visual dazzle meant to widen eyes and shrink inhibitions.

And yet, residential neighborhoods tend to evoke the opposite, shaded in the colors of the desert just outside their doors, lots of beiges and browns — earth tones galore — a tonal respite from the aesthetic opulence of the tourist corridor.

For Denver artists Jake Amason and Megan Walker, who created the mural that adorns Bowsky’s home, the idea was to bring the spirit of the former to the latter.

“Part of the reason why we went so bright with the colors was that all the houses out there are really brown,” Amason explains. “So it’s kind of fun to just, like, pop and make it contrast against the rest of the neighborhoods.

“I feel like Vegas is an example of freedom in America, in a way, people go there to let loose and do anything they want,” he continues. “And so I felt like, brown houses don’t really match my idea of Vegas. I feel like we’re inspired off of the energy of downtown Vegas, kind of hectic, lots going on. It was kind of fun to be in a city where we could maybe do something that was a little bit louder.”

How loud?


“We used, like, all of the colors,” Walker chuckles. “We ordered almost every color that Montana spray paint offers, and we probably used around 400 cans.”

Amason is a longtime friend of Bowsky’s and also has done artwork on a pair of Bowsky’s previous homes.

He and Walker, who are also a couple, got started on the mural in mid-October and finished in late November, often working from sunrise to sunset, with some inclement weather in the form of high winds and rain extending the project by a couple of weeks.

Their goal: To conjure a sense of disbelief, to make you question what it is exactly that you’re seeing.

“We wanted it to be like a desert oasis — or a mirage,” Walker says. “So if you’re, like, wandering through the desert and then you come across this thing, you’re like, ‘Wait, is that real?’”

A public art gallery

“This is super weird, inviting you in my restroom with me.”

Bowsky’s leading a tour of the artwork inside his home, stopping by one of his bathrooms, which is brightened by a surrealist painting by Amason.

There’s art everywhere here, from multiple black light/UV paintings to a large acrylic heart that he won in a charity auction to images of a deconstructed Scrooge McDuck in his studio.

“I’ve definitely got an art gallery worth of art, that’s for sure,” he observes.

And now the facade of his house doubles as a sort of public gallery, complete with unexpected visitors who happen upon the place and want to see the artwork up close.

Ask the dude who owns the place — he just might show you around if he’s not working.

“I don’t really mind,” Bowksy says of strangers dropping by to check out the mural. “I’m super happy to show it to pretty much anybody if I’m not busy, just hanging out and somebody pops by and is like, ‘Oh, this is so cool.’

“Like, I’ve had some people ask me, ‘Would it be cool if our kids came over and looked at it?’” he continues. “I don’t care. Just tell me when and don’t come with an ax to murder me.”

Having recently scheduled the painting to get sealed, he hopes it will last around five years — and then he probably will commission a new one.

Because there’s no HOA in his neighborhood and no rules on how a property should be maintained, he’s free to paint his house as he chooses.

He says most of his neighbors have had no complaints with the artwork, save for a woman across the street who called it an eyesore.

That’s OK: That’s art.

“That’s the cool thing about art: It’s subjective,” Bowsky says. “Everybody’s entitled to love or not love it, right?”

Contact Jason Bracelin at jbracelin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0476. Follow @jbracelin76 on Instagram.

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