As the world watches Michael Cohen’s testify in front of Congress today, one aspect of his testimony is sure to intrigue members of the art community. Cohen revealed:
Mr. Trump directed me to find a straw bidder to purchase a portrait of him that was being auctioned at an Art Hamptons Event. The objective was to ensure that his portrait, which was going to be auctioned last, would go for the highest price of any portrait that afternoon. The portrait was purchased by the fake bidder for $60,000. Mr. Trump directed the Trump Foundation, which is supposed to be a charitable organization, to repay the fake bidder, despite keeping the art for himself. Please see Exhibit 3B to my testimony. [Exhibit 3B is posted above.]
I don’t think anyone would be surprised that a man who loves to brag about absolutely everything, and is as thin-skinned as anyone, could have staged a fake bid on his portrait.
Again, from Cohen’s testimony: “A copy of an article with Mr. Trump’s handwriting on it that reported on the auction of a portrait of himself — he arranged for the bidder ahead of time and then reimbursed the bidder from the account of his non-profit charitable foundation, with the picture now hanging in one of his country clubs … ” He is referring to Exhibit 3A in his testimony, which is posted below.
The vanity of Trump knows no limits, and this certainly isn’t the only portrait of Donald Trump that has been presented at auction. In 2007, a portrait was made for a benefit at Mar-a-Lago, and lest we forget the fake Time magazine cover of him that hangs at the same Florida club.
This is actually a THIRD portrait of himself that @realdonaldtrump allegedly bought with his charity’s $. I knew about a 3-ft one and a 6-ft one. This is a 9-ft one, that he bought in 2013.
I knew about the painting. I didn’t know charity $ was involved.https://t.co/x6q25r2gHd https://t.co/50SA9ujWuF
— David Fahrenthold (@Fahrenthold) February 27, 2019
It was previously reported that Trump’s charitable organization, the Trump Foundation, paid $10,000 for an oil portrait of Trump at a 2014 auction after no other bids were made on it. It was also reported in 2016 that Trump used $20,000 of his charity foundation’s funds to buy a painting in 2007.
The bigger issue is not only the straw bidder, which happens at auction more than some commercial art world people would like to admit, but that the $60,000 that paid for the portrait came from the now-defunct Trump Foundation, which was closed after being accused of “shocking pattern of illegality.” This issue underlines various arguments that have been going on in the art community for a long time, namely that all art auctions should be more transparent about their sales, and, like real estate, they should reveal the names of sellers and bidders to avoid scams such as this.
Memes depicting a sinister, all-powerful Joe Biden alter ego are sweeping the internet, and the Democratic establishment is loving it.
“She dug into what she was fascinated by and obsessed with: things that existed on the periphery, people who didn’t follow the rules,” said one of her friends.
The Newark Museum of Art Presents Jazz Greats: Classic Photographs from the Bank of America Collection
Photographers Antony Armstrong Jones, Milt Hinton, Chuck Stewart, Barbara Morgan, and more capture a breadth of legendary and local musicians and performance artists. On view through August 21.
The prized antiquities, dating from the Bronze Age to the 12th century, were trafficked by the notorious British dealer Douglas Latchford.
With Paradise Camp, artist Yuki Kihara attempts to challenge and undermine colonial images of Sāmoa through a radical camp aesthetic.
Art and photographs, publications from the 19th and 20th centuries, manuscripts, posters and more are set to cross the auction block on August 18.
Combining elements of Surrealism, Symbolism, and portraiture, Vicuña’s paintings are parables of personal and political awakening.
Featuring a delicate lead performance by Christine Froseth, this is a smart, sometimes purposefully discomfiting comedy about taking control of one’s sexuality.
Masaaki Yuasa’s latest anime feature embodies a revolutionary spirit in its tale of outcasts breaking ground in medieval Japan.
Lebanese art dealer Georges Lotfi, who once helped authorities seize looted antiquities, is now accused of doing his own share of trafficking too.
An exhibition depicts how people have reimagined the medieval period in the centuries since, and how they have revealed their own interests and ideals with each new interpretation.