President Trump now appears to be among the nation’s “celebrity artists.” A small, stark sketch he once made of the Empire State Building in 1994 sold for $16,000 on Thursday night, part of an auction of art objects in Los Angeles that was not without drama.
“A packed audience of collectors and bidders were live on the floor, online and on the phone. One of the most talked about pieces in the auction, Donald Trump’s rendition of the Empire State building, sold for $16,000, which was over its original estimate,” reports Julien’s Auctions, which staged the event.
“Hand drawn in black marker on paper and signed Donald J. Trump, his sketch of the Empire State Building symbolized Trump’s ascent as a real estate mogul as he brokered the sale of New York’s most iconic symbol,” the auction house noted in a statement.
“Trump created the 12-inch by 9-piece during the opening of his Mar-a-Lago club in the 1990s and donated the piece for a charity auction. The piece originally sold at less than $100,” the organization noted, adding that a portion of the proceeds will benefit the smallest National Public Radio radio station in the country, WHDD in Sharon, Connecticut.
The auction also featured some pricier art, including a self-portrait by the late street artist Jean Michel Basquiat which went for $40,625. A Space Invader-themed mosaic sold for $44,800 while a New York City subway sign embellished by graphic artist Keith Haring fetched $25,000.