Leah Barkoukis, Ethics concerns over Hunter Biden’s foray into art are mounting as his pieces will reportedly be listed for between $75,000 and $500,000. Walter Shaub, the former director of the Office of Government Ethics under President Obama, is among those raising concerns.
Biden is working with New York-based art dealer Georges Berges, who will hold an exhibition in the city for the president’s son in the near future. The buyers will remain anonymous, leading Shaub to comment that it all feels very “shameful and grifty.” Biden’s connection with Berges also raises red flags, given that he reportedly has “strong ties to China.”
“The notion of a president’s son capitalizing on that relationship by selling art at obviously inflated prices and keeping the public in the dark about who’s funneling money to him has a shameful and grifty feel to it,” he told Fox News on Monday, adding that this is how “influence-seekers” will be able to reach the Biden family.
“Just as hotel charges and real estate purchases created a risk of unknown parties funneling money to the Trump family for potentially unsavory purposes, Hunter Biden’s grotesquely inflated art prices create a similar risk of influence-seekers funneling money to the Biden family,” Shaub said.
Shaub said he thinks that Biden and his art dealer, Georges Berges, “should disclose the identity of the purchasers” so the public can see if the buyers try to “gain access to [the] government.”
He also said that the “public should not have to take it on blind faith that government officials will behave” regardless if “any attempt to curry favor or buy influence is likely to succeed.”
“But I also think it’s ridiculous that Hunter Biden is even going forward with this sale as a first-time artist,” Shaub continued. “He can’t possibly think anyone is paying him based on the quality of the art. This smells like an attempt to cash in on a family connection to the White House.”
“At a minimum, the president should be asking his son not to go through with this auction,” Shaub added. (Fox News)
According to the New York Post, Biden plans to make his art a “full-time career.” In addition to blowing paint through straws, he draws and assembles collages.
“I don’t paint from emotion or feeling, which I think are both very ephemeral,” Hunter said. “For me, painting is much more about kind of trying to bring forth what is, I think, the universal truth.”