CLEVELAND, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Former congressman James Traficant, D-Ohio, has turned to art while serving an eight-year prison term for racketeering and bribery and is selling his paintings.
Traficant was forced out of Congress following his 2002 conviction. While known for his toupee, bombast and speech-ending phrase, "Beam me up," Traficant now wants to be known as an artist, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.
Traficant's Web site, beammeupart.com, says he began painting a year ago at the federal medical center in Rochester, Minn., and the dozen paintings offered for $140 to $205 would buy him art supplies.
On Wednesday, the Web site said most of the paintings had been sold and two were up for auction on eBay.
Traficant's Web site said he took to art "like a duck to water." However, Cleveland art critic Doug Utter told the newspaper, "There's no overwhelming talent or expertise in evidence."
Traficant's painting of flowing horse manes and tales "is almost fetishistic," Utter said.