Ethics Scrutiny Over Hunter Biden Art Sales
Ethics Scrutiny Over Hunter Biden Art Sales
Ethics and the Biden family are not compatible. Now it’s the sale of Hunter Biden’s art that is an issue that the White House wants quashed.
Hunter Biden has had a busy couple of years. First he leaves a laptop at a computer store, which is turning out to be a treasure trove of information regarding all of his business dealings on behalf of dear old dad.
Just last week, Fox News obtained a picture of Joe and Hunter Biden sporting wide smiles next to Carlos Slim, the Mexican billionaire, Interjet CEO Miguel Aleman Magnani, company chairman Miguel Aleman Velasco, and Jeff Cooper, a former managing partner of SimmonsCooper and a Biden donor.
Hunter set up meetings with Magnani and his father’s transportation secretary during the Obama administration. When Hunter and Cooper were working on a deal with Magnani, they were both on a 2016 vice presidential trip on Air Force Two to Mexico
“I really appreciate you letting me stay at your resort villa . . . but I have brought every single person you have ever asked me to bring to the F’ing White House and the Vice President’s house and the inauguration and then you go completely silent,” Hunter emailed Magnani after takeoff.
Secondly, he dealt with a baby problem, which has resulted in the child being erased from all mentions by Joe and Jill Biden. Third, he wrote a book…that tanked. Now he’s an artist!
It seems that some art gallery owner thinks Hunter Biden’s artwork is all that and then some. But here’s the catch.
White House officials have helped craft an agreement under which purchases of Hunter Biden’s artwork — which could be listed at prices as high as $500,000 — will be kept confidential from even the artist himself, in an attempt to avoid ethical issues that could arise as a presidential family member tries to sell a product with a highly subjective value.
Under an arrangement negotiated in recent months, a New York gallery owner is planning to set prices for the art and will withhold all records, including potential bidders and final buyers. The owner, Georges Bergès, has also agreed to reject any offer that he deems suspicious or that comes in over the asking price, according to people familiar with the agreement.
Let’s take a step back and review for a moment.
One: The White House helped craft the agreement that all buyer info would be kept confidential. Now why would that be? Oh maybe, just maybe, it’s because the sunlight that has been poured on the Bidens via Hunter’s laptop has them nervous? It isn’t hard to read between the lines and realize that Hunter Biden was fully engaged in getting people access to his dad and expected payment and perks from that.
Two: In my opinion, the fact that the White House is concerned about ethics tells me that people were already sending out feelers about buying Hunter’s artwork in return for political favors.
Three: They are charging HOW MUCH for artwork from Hunter Biden?? $75,000 – $500,000. That’s a lot of dough for a recovering crack addict.
What’s funny is that good art critics are…not enthused with Hunter’s artistic prowess.
Jerry Saltz, a critic at New York magazine and author of the book “How to Be an Artist,” told Artnet News that the works could be described as “generic post zombie formalism illustration.”
Scott Indrisek, a former editor in chief of Modern Painters magazine and a former deputy editor at Artsy, said: “I would call it very much a hotel art aesthetic. It’s the most anonymous art I can imagine. It’s somewhere between a screen saver and if you just Googled ‘midcentury abstraction’ and mashed up whatever came up.”
$500,000 for a piece of canvas that would look good in a hotel hallway. I’ll admit, I laughed a LOT at Indrisek’s review. This article at the NY Post has some examples of Hunter’s art.
Judge for your self.
But let’s go back to that sticky issue of ethics regarding the sale of Hunter’s paint blotches. This from a former director of the Office of Government Ethics during the Obama Administration.
Imagine you're the White House official who came up with the idea to outsource government ethics management to an art dealer, and you suddenly realize Russian oligarchs like art too.— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) July 8, 2021
Richard Painter was the chief ethics officer during the Bush Administration.
For presidential ethics @POTUS doesn't get to be graded on a curve, particularly if there's only a four-year look back. The rules are what they are and the appearances are what they are. Americans expect the highest standards of ethics. That's what we are entitled to.— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) July 8, 2021
You know what? If Hunter Biden wanted his art to be judged for itself, he should’ve painted under an assumed name. But he didn’t and he isn’t. No matter the spin from the gallery owner, from the White House, or from Hunter himself, the sale of his overpriced ink blots does open the door to access.
Someone, somewhere will say something, and then a phone call or email will be sent. I can just see it now. ‘I bought your son’s art. I paid $1.5 million for three of his paintings. I need a favor and you owe me for buying this crap I’ll never display in my home or office.’
See how that works?
Cool. So the Big Guy is NOT going to get 10% off this art deal? Or get his home maintenance and utilities paid?— Airess (@Airess) July 8, 2021
"Craft an agreement"? Please! If this was @DonaldJTrumpJr the marxists would be having seizures. https://t.co/DR4EE8Yztb
It’s also quite amusing to find out that the Biden White House is suddenly concerned about ethics …over something that could be loosely termed as art.
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Feature Photo Credit: Ink Blot Biden, original artwork by Victory Girls Darleen Click