Donald Trump’s sketch of the Empire State Building sold for $16,000 at an art auction on Thursday.
Trump’s simple pen and ink sketch was expected to sell for $8,000 to $12,000 at Julien’s Auction but ended up going for $16,000. Trump sketched the Empire State Building for a charity auction in Florida during the ’90s, when it was purchased for less than $100. Trump’s sketch multiplied in value by over 160 times.
An art critic commented on Trump’s sketch, which is a simple depiction. Trump drew three rectangles stacked on top of each other and topped them off with a pyramid shape. He quickly scribbled in the building’s facade. Trump drew a horizon line and signed his name on the side.
“Trump’s general speaking style of big gestures and no details extends to his drawing skill.”
This isn’t the first time one of Trump’s simple art pieces sold for a grand sum of money. Over summer, a sketch Trump drew of the Manhattan skyline sold for $29,000 at Nate D. Sanders auctions. The auction house founder commented on this extremely high price.
“You wouldn’t find $29,000 for a presidential autograph except for when you’re going back to the founding fathers or Abraham Lincoln. It’s an extremely high price, and it’s pretty much unprecedented for a modern president. Trump has that ‘wow’ factor.”
Trump’s sketch of the Manhattan skyline features nondescript rectangles, a few with triangle tops, in a repeating pattern. In the center, the only nondescript building is Trump Tower. It’s identified by its jagged roof.
Trump signed the sketch in gold ink in large letters in the center of the page.
Trump’s sketches sold for so much money because he is a controversial political leader, according to the auction house leaders. And although Trump’s simple sketches commanded a high price, there were other notable pieces at both auctions. An autographed photo of Albert Einstein sticking his tongue out sold for $125,000 over the summer auction. At the more recent auction, a signed and framed lithograph by the artist who made Obama’s famous “HOPE” campaign poster, this one featuring the text “CHANGE,” sold for $12,800.
Trump’s sketch of the Empire State Building does not demonstrate a great artistic talent, but it does give us a window into how he perceives things and also how he translates them for others. The high price shows us that people will pay a lot of money for his art. What conclusions about Trump can you draw from his art and what do you think of the sketches?
[Featured Image by Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images]