A high-society millionaire auction at Sotheby’s in New York City is a virtual who’s who and what’s what of the personality scene in the art world and beyond. Only a select couple of dozen bidders are even able to gain entry to bid on some of the rarest and most sought-after works of art in the world. This magnanimous setting was rocked just yesterday as a portrait of former President Barack Obama sold after fetching a bidding price of thirty-three million, three-hundred and fifty-one dollars and four cents.
The portrait was painted by noted French artist Cotain LeSoib from a sitting the President was present at back in 2015. Sotheby’s experts had estimated the selling price might reach two or three million, but never saw the record-breaking historic sale reaching the height that it did. The portrait’s buyer remains anonymous, but the bidder and representative, Joe Barron of the Hemingsford Barrons, let some clues leak during an interview with Monocled White Men Weekly :
“Mmmmmmyes, my client wishes to remain anonymous at this time. I know a lot of people believe it’s George Soros. It isn’t George Soros. The person who contracted my services is a great great admirer of President Obama’s, and for good reason. She is very well-to-do, and is married to, shall we say, a man whom she wishes could aspire to Mr. Obama’s class and poise. I’ll say that she’s from Slovenia. Her name rhymes with ‘Chilania.’ Okay? That’s enough. Let my finish my brandy snifter.”
The anonymous buyer left a message with the auction house to have the portrait wrapped and shipped secretly to her home somewhere in Washington D.C., and has refused to give any public interviews. The only statement made was one sentence, released over Twitter: “Ees worth every one of hees fat pennies.”