President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, has sold at least five prints of artworks to unspecified buyers for $75,000 each at his recent Los Angeles exhibition, raising concerns about alleged art enthusiasts buying admission to the White House.
Hunter Biden’s prints were reportedly sold by New York’s Georges Bergès Gallery ahead of its October 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 created the famous Hope poster for President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign; and Mayor Eric Garcetti, the president’s candidate for ambassador to India. A show scheduled for this month in New York City has been postponed until spring, the report said.
On October 1, the president’s 51-year-old son joined a crowd of 200 people at an exhibit 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.
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A representative of the New York City gallery declined to answer when the Washington Examiner asked if the prints had sold. It is not immediately clear why the gallery postponed the show to next year.
In response to concerns about buyers influencing the administration, press secretary Jen Psaki. of the White House said on Oct. 6: “We’ve spoken with the arrangement being implemented by the gallery owner and Hunter Biden’s representatives,” noting that buyers of his work will remain anonymous to him and White House officials.
But representatives of New York galleries said earlier this month that Hunter Biden would meet with potential buyers despite Psaki’s recent statements — a point that apparently runs counter to the stated goal of not keeping the president’s son informed of who his buy art. Bergès Gallery spokeswoman Robin Davis said “everyone will be vetted” on both shows, “so whoever is eligible will attend,” 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.
Art experts have debated the true value of Hunter Biden’s artwork for months, with the president’s son twisting the effort slightly. Jeffry Cudlin, a professor of art curatorial studies and practice at the Maryland Institute College of Art, said the value of art is not derived from the work itself.
“How much of that value is due to art itself? That’s easy: none of this,” Cudlin wrote in an email to the Washington Examiner earlier this year. ‘It is beautiful decorative amateur work. Hey, everyone needs a hobby!”
“I’m not saying this to be snobbish,” Cudlin said, “or to make statements about his ability to move a brush. But he’s just not in the game – and there’s only one game in town. And you play or you don’t play.”
Others were optimistic that his art might 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’d buy a few.”
Founded in 2015, Bergès Gallery has been a temporary home to many artists since its inception, including a once-limited feature of works by actor Sylvester Stallone. Bergés once said that he envisioned an expansion from New York to Beijing and Shanghai. However, his website only lists galleries in the Empire State and Berlin. The gallery owner admitted in 2014 that: China was “changing the world in terms of art and culture.”
Rep. James Comer, a Republican from Kentucky, expressed concern earlier this month about the younger Biden’s art displays.
“There are a lot of red flags out there with Hunter. Hunter is a national security issue,” Comer told Newsmax. “I think the Biden administration knows that. That’s why they’re constantly trying to procrastinate when they answer questions about Hunter.”
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Bergès was charged in 2016 with defrauding an investor who had given $500,000 for the gallery’s expansion, according to documents obtained by CBS. After Bergès filed a counterclaim for defamation, among other things, the two settled the case in 2018 under undisclosed conditions, the report said.
The Washington Examiner contacted the White House, but received no immediate response.
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Keywords: News, Hunter Biden, Joe Biden, Art Gallery, Arts, Los Angeles, New York City
Original author: Kaelan Deese
Original location: Hunter Biden sells five artworks for $75,000 each in Los Angeles