This black-and-white portrait of Nelson Mandela looking at his reflection in a hand-held mirror, by photographer Adrian Steirn as part of a series of 21 portraits of South African icons, has just made history.
Bought by a private art collector in New York for $200,000 (which will be donated to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital and the World Wildlife Fund), it has now officially become the highest price ever paid for a local South African portrait.
The buyer, who remains anonymous, said about the portrait: “I am honored to own what has already become an iconic image of one of the greatest statesmen the world has ever known. In a single frame the photographer has captured the essence of dignity, principle, conviction and courage in this great man from whose life’s work and dedication to a greater cause we all have much to learn, and by which I am inspired daily.”
Steirn’s intentions with the portrait was to depict “a man reflecting on his life. As he reflects on his life, we reflect on his legacy and our future.”