HUD’s “Grand Manner Style” portraits

From theDanbury Connecticut

NEWTOWN — Last September,
local artist Daniel Duffy was under the gun to complete a five-portrait
commission for the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development
by mid-October.

“I was going loony, working 18-hour days,” he said of painting pictures of HUD’s current secretary and his four predecessors.

he met the deadline and on Wednesday, the paintings, which range in
size from 30 by 40 inches to 30 by 48 inches, will be unveiled in HUD’s
Washington headquarters.

They represent a renewal of a
portraiture tradition that lapsed during the George H.W. Bush and
William J. Clinton administrations.

The article goes on to say that Duffy had “received an e-mail
from HUD officials last June asking if he would be interested in
submitting a proposal for a portrait of its current secretary, Alphonso
Jackson.” He sent off a proposal and quote of $20,000 for the portrait. HUD responded that for that price “they wanted a frame included.” In the end Duffy earned $100,000 because…

HUD also wanted portraits of
Jackson’s four predecessors, Mel Martinez, who served under the current
President Bush; Clinton appointees Henry Cisneros and Andrew Cuomo; and
Jack Kemp, secretary under President George H.W. Bush.

paintings were to be done in the grand manner style — formal
three-quarter portraits, ornately framed.
(my emphasis)

Now with all the money the Bush administration has squandered I suppose what’s another $100K? But when I read of the concern that payday loans at interest rates “as high as 800
percent” areexacerbating the housing crisis and I read how economists are staring into the abyss pondering its depth and I read that thelast hope in a weak economy for some people in their 50’s is to move back in with their parents…well somehow “grand manner style” portraits “ornately framed” seems just a bit in our face. Not to mention the irony of Alphonso Jackson’s apparent hopes to hang on the walls of HUD forevah giventhe investigations into possible cronyism and corruption andrecent calls for his resignation from members of the Senate.

WTF is wrong with these people?

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