It’s been months since Nelson Mandela was admitted to the hospital, and aside from the last reports of him being critically ill, the former South African president’s current condition remains unknown. Mandela, now 95, is a monumental figure in which legions of his fans will do anything for. An avid fan of his somehow professed his admiration for him; however, it wasn’t by penning a letter or writing a statement. It was by shelling out a staggering $200,000 for a portrait of Mandela himself. A NYC private art collector purchased the photographic portrait –taken by Adrian Steirn—making it the highest price ever paid for a local portrait. According to organizers, the money is said to be donated to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, which is currently under construction in Johannesburg, and the rest of the sum will be going to the World Wildlife Fund. The portrait, which is part of a series of 21 portraits of famous South African icons, showcases Nelson Mandela’s face reflected on a mirror that he was holding. Here’s what the photog and buyer both said:
“I wanted Madiba to hold a mirror so that we could see a man reflecting on his life. As he reflects on his life, we reflect on his legacy and our future,” Steirn said, using Mandela’s clan name.
The anonymous buyer said about the portrait: “I am honored to own what has already become an iconic image of one of the greatest statesmen the world has ever known. In a single frame the photographer has captured the essence of dignity, principle, conviction and courage in this great man from whose life’s work and dedication to a greater cause we all have much to learn, and by which I am inspired daily.”