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Hunter Biden claims he didn’t want to make money off his $500K paintings


‘I wasn’t there to sell my art,’ Hunter Biden says of his LA gallery opening

Hunter Biden is defending his glitzy art gallery openings where his paintings were listed at upwards of $300,000 – telling an interviewer he was thrilled because ‘I wasn’t there to sell my art.’

The president’s son opens up in an interview with Vanity Fair, where the tight-lipped gallery owner who helped nurture his new career and arrange showings revealed he has brought in friends as well as big-name collectors at night for special evening viewings to avoid press scrutiny.

‘If I say who, all of a sudden the right-wing press is going to run with it, and I would be doing these people a disservice,’ said New York gallery owner George Bergès.

Wrote Vanity Fair: ‘Bergès snuck in some of his big-name collectors and art-world friends who wanted to view the exhibit in New York—but not be photographed—after dark, sending his staff home and keeping the lights dim so the shutterbugs would go home.’ 

The identities of those who purchase the paintings by the president’s son aren’t made public and are not told to the artist, in a process set up by the White House with Bergès meant to avoid the appearance of conflict – though some ethics experts said it raises serious red flags.

The highly sympathetic profile does mention the ethical concerns of people by high prices to the president’s son in an industry notorious for money laundering. It reports that Bergès got death threats and had to hire security while organizing ‘The Journey Home’ art shows for Hunter. 

‘It is crazier than I ever could have imagined. Everyone has lost their minds,’ he said.

Bergès would not confirm the prices that Hunter’s work sold for. 

‘We are overachieving,’ he says. 

Hunter claims about 95 per cent of the people at his opening were people he knew. They included such celebrities as Moby, graphic artist Shepard Fairey – who designed the famous Obama ‘Hope’ poster – and Sugar Ray Leonard. 

Fairey discussed the prices Hunter was charging in the context of far more established artists.

‘There are plenty of artists that have been making work for decades whose work I like less than what I saw at Hunter Biden’s show,’ he said. 

Gallery owner Geroge Berges says he and Hunter are 'overachieving' in sales

Gallery owner Geroge Berges says he and Hunter are ‘overachieving’ in sales

Some works have listed above $300,000, according to the report

 Some works have listed above $300,000, according to the report

Hunter's artistic process sometimes involves using alcohol ink on top of Japanese Yupo paper

Hunter’s artistic process sometimes involves using alcohol ink on top of Japanese Yupo paper

Hunter Biden claims he didn't want to make money off his 0K paintings

His work includes abstractions and figurative pieces

His work includes abstractions and figurative pieces

‘When I looked at some of the prices on the work, I thought, There are a lot of very established artists whose work isn’t this expensive, but it is so subjective that art pricing is not something that there’s some sort of easy evaluation for,’ Fairey said after the LA show. ‘And so I was like, Hey, good for him if he can get these prices for the work. But he’s clearly put a huge amount of effort into it so that this is a substantial body of work. He’s not messing around.’ 

Hunter gushed about the opening itself, after being observed with no hint of nervousness. 

‘I wasn’t there to sell my art. I wasn’t there to talk about my art. I wasn’t there to explain myself, or explain what my art represented. All I had to do was watch people go, ‘Wow,’’ he said.

‘And I knew that that’s what they would do, not because I was overly confident about it. I’m sure some people didn’t like some paintings, or some people thought that that was too abstract, or some people thought that that was too figurative. But I didn’t care. I truly didn’t care.’

He called painting ‘the most true thing that I’ve ever done.’

The piece says Hunter met Bergès through a ‘friend of a friend,’ who it does not identify. 

Amid all the attention as his father achieved his dream of the presidency, a friend of Hunter’s asked why he couldn’t just work as an EMT and paint on the side – his lucrative career has caused numerous political headaches.   

‘Well, for starters, I don’t want to be a f***ing EMT,’ Hunter said. 

‘If you’re going to make a painting that’s five feet high and 22 feet long, you’re going to want to show it to somebody. And if you’re going to want to show it to somebody, you’re going to want to show it to them in a place and in a way that brings to life what you are attempting to express. And if you do that, then you have to find a gallery in order to be able to do that. And if you find a gallery, the reason that galleries stay in business is because they sell the f***ing art. I don’t know of anybody else that has figured out a way to be able to share their art at that scale without having to be in the business of it somehow. And I respect that incredibly. So that’s why I’ve turned over the entire business of it to somebody who has a track record, who’s a professional and somebody I trust, somebody I think is a good person.’ 

The White House issued a new report on countering corruption, including in art and land sales

The White House issued a new report on countering corruption, including in art and land sales

This week, a former top White House  ethics official called out the Biden White House for a new report pointing to the potential for corruption in the murky art industry – at a time when the president’s son Hunter is exhibited his expensive artwork at glitzy gallery shows.

Walter Shaub, who served as head of the Office of Government Ethics during the Obama Administration, pointed out the issue in a tweet Monday. 

‘The White House just issued a report flagging that money laundering is a problem in the… wait for it… art sale industry,’ he wrote. Then he quoted the report saying: “The markets for art and antiquities—and the market participants who facilitate transactions—are especially vulnerable to a range of financial crimes.” 

He continued by quoting the report, which also pointed to real estate as an area for potential fraud.  

‘Built-in opacity, lack of stable and predictable pricing, and inherent cross-border transportability of goods sold, make the market optimal for illicit value transfer, sanctions evasion, and corruption,’ it said.



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