Madoff's infamous visage inspires a portrait and a stunt

In the Spring of 2009, as Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme was in its death throws, Richard painted a stunning "close-up" portrait reminiscent of the tabloid "mug shot" oeuvre. In fact, the inspiration for the work came directly from the iconic New York Post.

In a case of self-referential circularity, an image of Richard and the painting on Eight Avenue in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood makes the cover of the New York Post itself.

A lot of people have said it should be [made into] a dart board or they’ve asked, ‘Do you get to burn it if you buy it?’ and my answer is yes.
— Richard quoted in the The New York Post

The conceit of the event was a silent auction on the street. Richard posted his phone number on a placard and courted bids for several days. A contemporary art museum, Fisher Landau Center for the Arts, was the high bidder and the work remains part of their permanent collection.

This sale on the streets of New York was not a singular event for Richard who has regularly sells directly to the public in most unconventional of ways. To date, Richard has sold tens of thousands of dollars worth of art in this manner.