President Joe Biden‘s son, Hunter Biden, has sold at least five prints of artwork to unspecified buyers for $75,000 each at his recent Los Angeles exhibition, raising concerns about purported art lovers purchasing access to the White House.
Hunter Biden’s prints were reportedly sold by the Georges Bergès Gallery in New York before the Oct. 1 opening presentation in California, a source familiar with the matter told the New York Post. The event was attended by prominent figures and celebrities, including musician Moby; artist Shepard Fairey, who made the famous Hope poster for President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign; and Mayor Eric Garcetti, the president’s nominee for ambassador to India. A New York City show planned for this month has been delayed until the spring, the report added.
On Oct. 1, the 51-year-old son of the president joined a crowd of 200 people at an exhibition held at Hollywood’s Milk Studios, where he was joined by his wife Melissa and two of his daughters, Naomi Biden, 27, and Maisy Biden, 20, according to the Daily Mail.
A representative for the New York City gallery declined to answer when asked by the Washington Examiner whether the prints have sold. It is not immediately clear why the gallery postponed the show until next year.
In response to concerns about buyers influencing the administration, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Oct. 6, “We’ve spoken to the arrangement that is run by the gallerist and Hunter Biden’s representatives,” noting that buyers of his work will remain anonymous to him and officials in the White House.
But New York gallery representatives said earlier this month that Hunter Biden would be meeting with prospective buyers despite Psaki’s recent statements — a point apparently at odds with the stated goal of keeping the president’s son unaware of who is purchasing his art. Bergès Gallery spokeswoman Robin Davis said “everyone will be vetted” at both shows, “so whomever is appropriate will be attending,” CBS reported in July.
Prices for the younger Biden’s art range from $75,000 for works on paper to $500,000 for his larger paintings, Bergès told artnet.com in June this year.
Experts in the art world have deliberated for months about the true value of Hunter Biden’s artwork, with some panning the efforts by the son of the president. Jeffry Cudlin, professor of art curatorial studies and practice at the Maryland Institute College of Art, said none of the art’s value is derived from the work itself.
“How much of that value is due to the art itself? That’s easy: None of it,” wrote Cudlin in an email to the Washington Examiner earlier this year. “They’re fine decorative amateur work. Hey, everybody needs a hobby!”
“I don’t say this to be snobbish,” Cudlin said, “or to make pronouncements on his ability to move a brush around. But he’s just not in the game — and there’s only one game in town. And you’re either playing, or you’re not.”
Others expressed optimism that his art could one day be worth the asking price, such as art dealer Alex Acevedo, a 75-year-old art dealer and established collector who admitted, “I would buy a couple of them.”
Bergès Gallery, established in 2015, has been a temporary home to many artists since its inception, including a once-limited feature of artwork by actor Sylvester Stallone. Bergés once said he had eyed an expansion from New York into Beijing and Shanghai. However, his website only list galleries in the Empire State and Berlin. The gallerist admitted in 2014 that China was “changing the world in terms of art and culture.”
Rep. James Comer, a Kentucky Republican, expressed his concerns with the younger Biden’s art displays earlier this month.
“There’s a lot of red flags there with Hunter. Hunter is a national security problem,” Comer told Newsmax. “I think the Biden administration knows that. That’s why they constantly try to defer when they take questions about Hunter.”
Bergès was accused in 2016 of defrauding an investor who gave $500,000 intended for gallery expansion, according to documents obtained by CBS. After Bergès countersued for defamation, among other things, the two settled the case in 2018 on undisclosed terms, the report added.
The Washington Examiner contacted the White House but did not immediately receive a response.
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Original Author: Kaelan Deese
Original Location: Hunter Biden sells five art pieces for $75,000 each in Los Angeles