Abcarian: Hunter Biden trades on last name – again

After a months-long residency in the bohemian heart of Los Angeles – Venice Beach – the artist known as Hunter Biden has moved to “the coast” somewhere. In his new home, Artnet News reported, he


After a months-long residency in the bohemian heart of Los Angeles – Venice Beach – the artist known as Hunter Biden has moved to “the coast” somewhere.

In his new home, Artnet News reported, he now paints in a converted three-car garage with brick floors and skylights.

Biden, President Biden’s youngest and only surviving son, has found a new career.

In what I suppose was an effort to make a living without politically compromising his father, he turned what he describes as a lifelong passion – art – into a job.

“Working on canvas, metal and Japanese Yupo paper, Biden’s works are often layered, with elements of photography, painting, collage and poetry,” Katya Kazakina wrote of Artnet last week. “Some are geometric abstractions, filled with patterns and somewhat hallucinogenic. Others represent trees, leaves and body parts like outstretched arms. “

His New York-based art dealer Georges Bergès, who has worked with Biden for more than a year, said he would host a private exhibition for Biden this fall at an undisclosed location in Los Angeles, followed by a private exhibition in New York. York. Bergès said prices for Biden’s artwork would range from $ 75,000 to $ 500.00 for large-scale paintings.

But are they good?

Does it really matter?

And does the sale of the artwork have the potential to compromise Hunter’s father?

As is often the case with art at this level, the identity of the buyers will not be disclosed, leading not only to his father’s political enemies, but also ethics experts and some of Biden’s allies to wonder if this is just the latest example of exploitation by Hunter. the last name for profit.

“The idea that a son of a president is capitalizing on this relationship by selling art at blatantly inflated prices and keeping the public in the dark about who is paying him money makes a shameful and arrogant sense,” Walter Shaub, who was director of the United States. Office of Government Ethics under President Obama, Fox News said.

“Just as hotel fees and real estate purchases created a risk that unknown parties would pay the Trump family money for potentially unsavory purposes, the grotesquely inflated art prices by Hunter Biden create a similar risk. that influencer seekers pay the Biden family money. “

I don’t disagree with Shaub’s assessment. I cannot find any trace of Biden pledging to donate the profits from his works to charity, which would help remove any odor from this commercial endeavor.

The reaction to Biden’s work has been – as you might expect – a mixture of curiosity and derision.

New York magazine art critic Jerry Saltz described Biden’s work at Artnet as a “generic illustration of post-zombie formalism.” Art critic Scott Indrisek suggested the artwork was suitable for a dermatologist’s waiting room.

“I guess it’s important that injured men of a certain age and from privileged backgrounds have the opportunity to come together in creative ways,” Indrisek told Artnet. “It’s just too bad everyone is supposed to be careful.”

Times Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic Christopher Knight told me he had only seen reproductions of Biden’s work and was reluctant to intervene. However, he said, it reminded him of another public figure turned artist. “It’s not George W. Bush,” said Knight, who was disappointed with the 43rd President’s artwork, “So that’s something.”

Artnet News critic Ben Davis reportedly said the paintings appeared to be an allegory of Biden’s life: “It looks like he’s trying to occupy his mind… trying to fill the empty space and create a structure. from a mess.

::

I never saw Biden while he lived on North Venice Boulevard next to the Grand Canal, but I was certainly aware of his presence in my neighborhood.

Every day, Secret Service agents sat in three unmarked cars parked face to face in front of the house, half a block from a dozen tents on Pacific Avenue. With their earrings, short hair, and stuffy clothes, let’s just say they get noticed.

It has always struck me as curious that someone like Biden, who wrote candidly about his crack and alcohol addiction in his memoir “Beautiful Things,” would post a block from the beach, which is, at the time. unfortunate current, an open-air drug market strewn with camps for the homeless. After all, he boasted in the book, his “superpower” was to take drugs anywhere, anytime.

Why put yourself on the path of temptation?

And if you are looking for privacy, why live in a house that is exposed to the public on three sides?

Anyway, these questions are moot now.

Several weeks ago, a large yellow moving truck appeared in front of the house and the officers disappeared.

::

As reckless as Hunter Biden was – and it’s a miracle he wasn’t dead or in jail if everything he wrote in his memoir is true – you have to admire him for at least one thing: he carefully tried to prepare his story of redemption.

In July 2019, he told his sordid story of drug addiction and influence peddling to the New Yorker in a bid to vaccinate his father against his failures and poor judgment.

(From 2014, as his four-year crack addiction escalated and his father oversaw US policy in Ukraine as vice president, he was invited to sit on the board of the Ukrainian company. Burisma natural gas. The huge monthly fee – reportedly $ 50,000 – opened an unhindered path for him to self-destruct.)

A few months after the New Yorker article appeared, he announced that he would be stepping down from the board of a Chinese investment firm, which, along with Burisma, made him a relentless target (and frankly deserved) for President Trump and his allies. He and his father said he would refrain from working for foreign companies while his father was in office.

Four and a half months later, just before his father became the clear favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination, he invited a New York Times reporter to his home studio in Hollywood Hills to chronicle his latest transformation. The feature film that followed described him as “an unknown artist”.

And then, of course, his memoir came out and, according to many reports, failed despite a blizzard of publicity. And he was beset by a drop, drop, drop of unflattering and compromising stories based on documents and photographs found on the drive of a laptop he allegedly left in a Delaware repair shop.

I guess he faces hefty legal bills as he is still under investigation by the Department of Justice, which is reviewing its taxes and international trade relations. With a new wife and baby, as well as four other dependent children, it’s no wonder he’s selling his art to the highest bidders.

It’s a shame that Hunter Biden is exploiting his last name for money again. I’m not an art critic, but I doubt he would have a viable career as an artist if his father wasn’t the most powerful man on the planet.

@AbcarianLAT