Sharp-eyed 60 Minutes viewers noticed a painting of Donald Trump hanging somewhere in the White House, and now the Missouri-based painter who created the portrait is raking in the money.
As TMZ reports, at some point during Trump’s interview with Lesley Stahl, the pair passed by a part of the White House where a particular painting could be seen.
That painting on a White House wall that people saw during the "60 Minutes" interview was created by Missouri artist Andy Thomas. Note Trump's Diet Coke. https://t.co/UqqlSYVjzE pic.twitter.com/enSHC12vrs— Lisa Gutierrez (@LisaGinKC) October 15, 2018
The painting is called The Republican Club, and it features Trump at a table with, well, Republicans. He’s joined by Richard Nixon, George W. Bush, Abraham Lincoln, and others. One particular detail that some observers have noticed is that while the other men are drinking what appear to be alcoholic beverages, the 45th president, an outspoken teetotaler, appears to be enjoying a soda (likely a Diet Coke, of which he’s rumored to drink as many as eight or more per day).
It was painted by Missouri painter Andy Thomas, who on his website is described as being self-taught.
“He’s outside the norm of Republicans and that makes it kind of interesting. Is he going to end up going in history as a great Republican or an abnormality or something? So it’s interesting. I just put him at the table, more or less the center of attention. We’ll let history decide. Or let the people decide. It’s not up to me.”
Thomas also admits that it was difficult to paint Trump, saying his light hair and his skin tone made it difficult for him to get Trump right on the first attempt. He also claims that Trump lacks a “genuine smile,” so he (Thomas) admits that he still thinks Trump’s smile in the painting is a little forced.
Other criticism of the painting is a little more direct. TMZ calls the painting “tacky” and “trashy” and also notes that the painting appears to depict Trump as artificially slim.
Criticism aside, the painting, which retails for $495, is flying off the shelves (so to speak). Thomas says he averages about three orders per day for all of his paintings. But the day after the 60 Minutes interview, he had 85 new orders.
Lest you think that Thomas is a Trump supporter who flattered the president in the name of his agenda, Thomas actually describes himself as “an independent-minded Midwesterner” whose paintings focus on American history. And in true non-partisan form, he also has a painting called The Democrat Club, featuring John F. Kennedy, Barack Obama, and other Democrats, in almost exactly the same pose as the Republicans.
I love this painting so much wow - Democrat Club by Andy Thomas pic.twitter.com/NnCoe1OQYM— Brett Combs ???? (@MidwestCombs) March 15, 2018
Note that none of the Democrats are drinking soft drinks, however. And with good reason: Obama and Clinton both loved their beer, and JFK’s father made his fortune bootlegging during Prohibition.