Artist Who Painted 6-Foot Portrait of Donald Trump Speaks Out on Controversial Work: 'He Liked It' - Michael Israel

Artist Who Painted 6-Foot Portrait of Donald Trump Speaks Out on Controversial Work: ‘He Liked It’

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A 6-foot tall portrait of Donald Trump is the latest controversy in the presidential campaign, and the artist who created it has revealed how it came to be.

Read: Reports Claim Donald Trump Once Used $20G in Charity Money to Buy Painting of Himself

Michael Israel, the artist who painted the Trump portrait spoke to Inside Edition, saying: “I thought how cool would it be to paint Donald Trump in Donald Trump’s house with Donald Trump there.”

Israel is an internationally-known speed painter, who once completed a portrait of John Lennon in seven minutes.

He painted the portrait of Trump for a charity auction held at Trump’s Mar-A-Lago estate in 2007. The painting “looked like he had a pretty intense stare,” Israel said.

He added: “I always found that Trump had this power about him.”

The artist says Melania Trump bid $20,000 for the painting at the auction.

“[The] initial bid started at $10,000 and then she graciously raised her hand and made it $20,000,” he said.

Trump reportedly used his own charitable foundation to pay for it, a troubling transaction that’s currently being investigated by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

The Trump campaign hit back, calling Schneiderman “a partisan hack” and the investigation, “nothing more than another left wing hit job.”  Schneiderman is a Democrat.

The probe came after a scathing report on Trump’s foundation in The Washington Post Wednesday which claims it found some “troubling transactions,” including the claim that Trump used $20,000 of the organization’s funds to buy the portrait.

Read: Meet the Man Behind the Infamous Donald Trump Statues That Popped Up Across the Country

President Obama mocked the existence of the portrait at a rally in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

“The other candidate’s foundation took money that other people gave to his charity and bought a 6-foot painting of himself,” Obama said.

The Washington Post report says the portrait may be in the clubhouse at the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester, New York.

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  • Ethan Marek

    Michael Israel Art Studios Statement

    Trump Painting Saves Abused Women and Children!

    Michael Israel, a famous speed painter, is renowned for using his art to bring attention and money to worthy causes.

    Surrounding the now famous Trump painting, on the night in question, 5 artworks were painted on stage then auctioned to benefit Home Safe, a charity that prevents and protects women, children, and infants from abuse. 5 artworks painted, 6 artworks SOLD! Melania Trump won the bid for a portrait of Donald.

    The controversy? Home Safe charity was paid with a Trump Foundation check. If the Trumps kept the painting for themselves, for instance, in their home, it would be self-serving. It is our understanding the mission of charitable foundations is to give money to help charities. They did! The money paid for the painting did help prevent and protect children and women from abuse. Now with all the media attention, the artwork’s place in history is assured and it is likely an excellent artwork investment for the Trump Foundation (If the Foundation kept it) or any charity the Trump Foundation might have donated it to!

    A personal message to Donald and Melania Trump,

    THANK YOU for your support of Home Safe… and my work! I have more for sale 😉

    Live in Color!

    Michael Israel

    P.S. – President Obama and Hillary Clinton have talked about my 6-ft painting… I wonder if they would like me to paint a 6-ft portrait for them too! If you speak with either, please let them know they might get a deal on my work at a sanctioned charity event or a painting can be commissioned at my standard rate by contacting my studio michaelisrael.com

    P.P.S. I am thrilled my art has once again hit the world’s stage! I am thrilled it has made more of a positive difference in people’s lives than simply matching the couch. I am dismayed but unfortunately not surprised it is being used to make negative statements as well.

    P.P.P.S. My art is pro-America and hugely patriotic! I paint tributes to Freedom, First Responders, Police, Military, and important causes!

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