Donald Trump Screwed Charity When He Bought That $20k Painting of Himself with Donor Money

Painter says those paintings can go for A LOT more at charity auctions.
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Painter says those paintings can go for A LOT more at charity auctions.

You've all probably heard about the 6-foot painting of Donald Trump that Donald Trump bought with other people's money, if nowhere else, then from President Obama on Tuesday:

One candidate's family foundation has saved countless lives around the world. The other candidate's foundation took money other people gave to his charity and then bought a six foot tall painting of himself. He had the taste not to go for the 10 foot version .

Well, it turns out that not only did Trump buy that six-foot painting of himself with money that other people had donated to his "charitable foundation," he also screwed the charity he bought it from. According to the artist who did the fundraiser, who is actually pro-Trump and tried his best to defend this, paintings like this can go for ten times what Trump paid at a generous charity auction:

Q: Is $20,000 high for one of your paintings?

A: No, but it’s not bad for some charity events. I dedicate a number of works to a number of charities each year, then it’s pretty much anything goes for the charity. Today, my studio price for a first-time work on a canvas like the Trump portrait is $150,000.00, it was lower at the time of the event. Works have sold for $250,000, they have also sold at charity events for a lot less. People know they can “steal” an artwork at a charity event and do good for the charity so, collectors often wait for such an event rather than buying directly from my studio. That will change when I retire from touring and stop doing so many charity events.

So instead of getting a cool quarter-mil for HomeSafe, the highly-rated children’s charity for which speed-painter Michael Israel made the painting, they got a tenth of that, and only after some arm-twisting by the auctioneer. From Israel’s blog:

Bidding started well. Then Melania bid $10,000…. and the rest of the room stopped!

The auctioneer was quick-witted and gutsy, and I don’t remember exactly what he said, but it was something like…

“Mrs. Trump, thank you for your bid, but everyone else has stopped bidding! No one will bid against you, so I think it is only fair that you double your bid.”

and she graciously doubled her bid to $20,000!