Fall River native, artist auctioning off painting to donate to fund supporting small businesses

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) ─ The videos have made their rounds on social media – entrepreneurs across the country have answered unidentified FaceTime calls that usually end in tears.

The caller is David Portnoy, the founder of Barstool Sports. He lets these business owners know that they will receive a check that will help their businesses pay the expenses made possible by the Barstool Fund.

According to a video from Portnoy, there is a great requirement to qualify. Companies must have two employees on their payroll. After that, he says, you should just list what you need the money for.

It is these details that caught artist Rene Gagnon’s attention. The Fall River native is a huge Portnoy fan and was about to include it in one of his signature pieces when he heard about the fund.

“Dave posts videos, he talks to people and they get help right away,” said Gagnon.

Gagnon said he has created murals in cities like New York City and Los Angeles and even created some international pieces. However, southern New Englanders may recognize his work by a color mural in downtown Fall River.

“When I saw what he was doing with this fund, I was like hey, this is a perfect opportunity for me to give something back, you know? As an artist and as a person, I wish I had millions of dollars to donate, ”he said. “Right now, I have art currency.”

At this point, Gagnon used social media to announce that he was going to auction one of his paintings and donate the money to the fund.

The fund has raised millions of dollars and so far has helped several companies, according to the website.

“It’s the tragedy of everything we see now and the business owner’s viral videos that are closing,” said Gagnon. “When I saw Dave I was like perfect, now I’m just taking this piece of him, I know he’s a Mass guy, maybe he’ll comment on it and maybe it’ll gain some traction and we’ll see where it goes until January 1st. “

When he first published the artwork, Gagnon said it didn’t receive much traction. But the second time he shared the finished product, Portnoy replied.

“He commented,” This is wild “and that’s my style, I like it wild,” he said.

Gagnon said he’s taking bids for DM on Twitter, and it’s currently priced at $ 17,000.

As someone who had to seek help himself earlier this year, Gagnon said that was the least he could do.

“If I sold it for $ 100 and could donate $ 100, at least I did my part,” he said.

Gagnon said the auction will end on New Years Day. He gives the highest bidder 24 hours to claim the piece before moving on to the next.

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