Bear Stearns is gone, and now so is the portrait of fallen chief executive and company chairman Jimmy Cayne by Geoffrey Raymond, the artist who has painted Eiliot Spitzer, Jim Cramer (twice), Lloyd Blankfein and Dick Grasso. It was sold to the wife of a former Bear Stearns employee. She paid $12,000.
The multicolor painting of Cayne against a stark white canvas was on display outside Bear's midtown headquarters, on the corner of 47th St. and Madison Avenue. Raymond handed out colored Sharpie markers to passersby, asking them to sign the portrait. Bear employees got a red marker, shareholders a purple marker and everyone else got black.
"By my count, 189 annotations, the vast majority of which are in red--the color reserved for Bear employees," Raymond tells DealBreaker
The first annotation read: "Opening Bid: One Dimon." You can find it about two inches below the first T in the title. (Click the picture for a larger version.) The final annotation was inscribed around 3:30 p.m. yesterday. It speaks as if it were Cayne writing it himself, striking an almost wistful tone. "I had a good run," it reads. You can find it between the first T and the A in "Annotated."
Other comments were less friendly. "Hubris -- thy name is Jimmy!" one reads. Another says, "Now you know what BS stands for."
The buyer of the painting asked to remain anonymous. But since Cayne is himself a "former employee" of Bear Stearns, we suppose its possible his wife bought it.