Michael Bloomberg Blooms with Magical Warmth in Official Portrait, Also Some Kind of Rash, Maybe


In a delightful end-of-year surprise to news bloggers across the city, outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s official portrait was unveiled this morning at City Hall. You’re looking at it. That’s it. It’s not a joke or an inter-office Photoshop.

In case your browser is blocking the image — out of good taste, perhaps — it depicts Bloomberg, arms crossed and some sort of flat-screen TV tumor growing from one shoulder, as the busy City Hall bullpen bustles behind him. His face is flushed with goodwill, or possibly rosacea. His nose appears to be in bloom.

Besides a bevy of buttons, Bloomberg also has on what we’re pretty sure is a tie in Radiant Orchid, the “Color of the Year” for 2014, according to Pantone. That shade, according to the company:

[B]looms with confidence and magical warmth that intrigues the eye and sparks the imagination. It is an expressive, creative and embracing purple–one that draws you in with its beguiling charm. A captivating harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid emanates great joy, love and health.

Sounds just like the mayor we’ve all come to know and… know.

The artist, Jon R. Friedman, is frequently commissioned to paint portraits of powerful people, including Bill Gates, Barney Frank, and Ted Turner. According to the mayor’s office, the portrait was approved by the Public Design Commission on December 9 and was “privately funded,” as a gift to the city, possibly by an anonymous donor named Schmichael Schloomberg.

More information on the portrait can be found here, including the fact that it is oil on canvas, 50 inches tall by 36 inches wide in a gilt frame, and is still definitely not a joke.