Richard Hutchins’ life will never be the same. The formerly homeless artist has gained viral fame for his inspiring story and his amazing art — and he recently gained a new patron in media mogul Oprah Winfrey.
ET’s Thando Dlomo spoke with Hutchins — as well as his friend and business partner Charlie Rocket — and Dlomo had a very special surprise for the celebrated artist during their zoom chat.
“Richard, I have somebody who would love to meet you, who honestly has been so inspired and so excited by all that you’ve been doing, just like the rest of the world,” Dlomo said, as Winfrey walked into the room behind her, leaving Hutchins and Rocket absolutely astounded.
“It’s my pleasure to meet you,” Winfrey shared. “I saw some of your beautiful art, and I said, ‘Well, I have to get one of those paintings.’ Actually, I think you’re not charging enough money.”
Hutchins — who had been a successful artist years ago before several setbacks — said he struggled to know how to price his work now that people were interested again.
“I saw an Angela Davis portrait, it was like $150? So listen, I’m gonna pay $1,500 for that, because it needs to be at least 10 times what you’re asking for it,” Winfrey said. “I am so proud of you for taking your pain and turning it into promise, and moving that promise into a powerful form of expression for you.”
Winfrey ended up purchasing the Angela Davis portrait, as well as a striking painting called “Flower Girl,” and shared her appreciation for Hutchins, who was choked up over the kind words and support.
“You don’t even know what you’ve done with my life,” Hutchins said, fighting back tears of joy.
In his past, Hutchins had painted portraits for celebrities, but after a series of unfortunate circumstances he found himself without a lot of opportunities. After a chance encounter with Rocket, a friendship was formed and Rocket learned of Hutchins talents and passion for art.
Hutchins gained viral fame after Rocket created a digital studio for Hutchins, and his story caught the attention of many celebrities who were impressed by both his talent and his perseverance. After opening his online studio, Hutchins sold over $50,000 worth of art in a single day.
“There’s no words for it, I’m just blessed, and I’m very humbled,” Hutchins shared with ET. “When I look at the computer and I see all these millions of people sending out their love and respect for me, and buying my work… there’s no words for it.”
Among the many celebrities who have showed their support for Hutchins and purchased his work are Steve Harvey, 2 Chainz, and now Winfrey.
More of Hutchins work can be found at his website, Richard Hutchins Studio.