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Stephen Colbert portrait sells for $26,000 at auction

March 9, 2011 |  9:46 am

Colbert A mock portrait of comedian Stephen Colbert that features embellishments by artists Shepard Fairey and Andres Serrano has sold at auction in New York, and the proceeds are going to charity.

The auction house of Phillips de Pury said the painting sold on Tuesday for $26,000 in an auction presided over by Colbert himself, alongside Simon de Pury. The money will go to Donorschoose.org, an online charity for students in need. The auction house declined to reveal who purchased the art work.

Colbert featured the painting in a December episode of his Comedy Central show, which featured guest Steve Martin, as well as Fairey, Serrano and Frank Stella. In the episode, Martin valued the painting at just $19.

Fairey took time during the episode to spray-paint the Colbert painting with his "Obey" logo, while Serrano used a marker to transform Colbert into a Hitler-esque demagogue.

The title of the painting at auction was "Portrait 5, Stephen(s)."

Reuters reported that during the auction, Colbert told attendees, "We're doing this for children ... If you're not raising your paddle it means you hate children."

The auction was part of the "Under the Influence" sale at Phillips de Pury, which comprised of 280 lots. The auction house said it sold 82% by value and 76% by lot, for a total of $2,876,313, including buyers' premiums.

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-- David Ng

Top photo: "Portrait 5, Stephen(s)." Credit: PR Newswire

Bottom photo: Stephen Colbert. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times


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