Hunter Biden’s artwork reportedly sold for $75,000 each before his official New York City art show even opened.
At least five pieces have been sold and lawyers have begun vetting potential clients who plan to attend the upcoming show. The pieces were sold at an October 1 “pop-up” presentation in Los Angeles.
The identity of the buyers is unknown, and it is also unknown if more units were sold after the presentation, The New York Post reported.
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“But most of those allowed to purchase works are long-term private collectors with the gallery,” says a source familiar with the sale.
The sale of Biden’s artwork has raised a number of ethical questions for the White House. In July, White House officials signed an agreement under which purchases of the artwork would remain confidential, even from the artist himself. Hunter Biden’s attendance at the Los Angeles event came despite the White House having previously said he would not know the identities of potential buyers.
New York gallery owner, George Berges, agreed to reject any offer he deems suspicious or that exceeds the asking price, The Washington Post reported. A team of lawyers has launched an investigation into anyone planning to attend the Soho gallery, but it’s not clear who hired the lawyers.
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Some of Biden’s artworks are listed for as much as $500,000.
“It’s all a very bad idea,” Richard Painter, former White House chief of ethics attorney, told The Washington Post. “The first reaction that many people will have is that he takes advantage of being the son of a president and wants people to give him a lot of money.”
Painter, who served in the George W. Bush administration, said the recent sales are proof that the “veil of secrecy” approach “isn’t happening.”
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Walter Shaub, former director of the Office of Government Ethics under President Obama, previously told to Fox News that Hunter Biden’s lucrative art career has an “embarrassing and grim feel to it.”
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Concerns over the sale of paintings revolve around the issue of access to the White House. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, President Biden’s nominee to become US Ambassador to India, was reportedly among the high-profile attendees at Hunter’s art show.
Art experts have said that Hunter Biden’s work… too expensive.
Houston Keene of Fox News contributed to this report.