OMAHA, Neb. — Billionaire Warren Buffett is auctioning off a high-tech signed portrait of himself to raise money for one of his favorite charities, and the bidding has already topped $32,000.
The portrait of Buffett created by Motiva Art features a grid of letters over the picture that light up to spell out several of the legendary investor’s famous quotes. The eBay auction of this artwork probably won’t rival the $19 million someone paid earlier this year for a private lunch with Buffett, but it’s still likely to attract big bidders among the Berkshire Hathaway CEO’s devoted followers.
The auction began earlier this week and is set to wrap up on Buffett’s 92nd birthday on Aug. 30.
The proceeds from the art auction will go to Girls Inc. of Omaha, which provides educational, cultural and recreational programs for young women in Buffett’s hometown. The nonprofit has benefited from a number of other things the investor has auctioned off over the years.
Buffett once sold off an old wallet of his that contained a stock tip, raising $210,000 for the organization. And in 2015, someone paid more than $122,000 for Buffett’s 2006 Cadillac with his signature on the dashboard.
The biggest Buffett payout for Girls Inc. came in 2018, when Buffett won a 10-year bet that an S&P 500 stock index fund would outperform a collection of hedge funds. That netted more than $2 million that Girls Inc. used to support a new residential program for young women leaving foster care.
The June lunch auction that raised $19 million for the California-based Glide Foundation that helps homeless people in San Francisco attracted such an astronomical winning bid because Buffett said this year’s auction would be the final one. Before the pandemic, he had auctioned off private lunches every year for 20 years and regularly raised millions for Glide.