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A Picture Plus 1,000 Words

A street artist lets passersby scribble comments on his portraits of business icons.
Josh Hyatt, CFO Magazine
September 1, 2009

Geoffrey Raymond, 56, works on Wall Street — but not in the usual way.

The PR-practitioner-turned-artist displays his portraits of business icons, including former Bear Stearns CEO Jimmy Cayne, former Lehman Brothers CEO Richard Fuld, and current Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, on the street and invites passersby to grace the margins with their comments. He even supplies the markers (employees of a subject's firm get a different color marker than others, allowing readers to get a sense of which comments may capture an especially personal sentiment). Some of his "Annotated" portraits are framed by as many as 300 comments, including "Shameful, just shameful" around Cayne's image and unprintable assessments around some others. Raymond's paintings have sold for between $10,000 and $28,000 apiece, and he's hawking posters online.

Raymond has also painted such power-brokers as media mogul Rupert Murdoch, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Now that so many investment banks have crumbled and so many infamous tycoons have retreated, is he concerned that he will run out of subjects? "There are always politicians," he replies, "and I've considered a CFO or two."




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