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In times as strange as these, it will not come as a surprise that Downtime columnist Eric Felten happened across a news clipping from sometime next month (what is otherwise known as a parody, just in case anyone is confused).
BIDEN BOFFO: SPECTACULAR SUCCESS OF BIDEN SENDS ART WORLD INTO A SCRAMBLE
New works found after frenzied first exhibit. Will supply catch up to demand?
Following the enthusiastic response to Hunter Biden’s debut exhibition of paintings and drawings, a new show of early works by President Joe Biden’s son has been hastily organized. The initial presentation of Biden’s abstract works was scheduled to appear at a gallery in New York’s SoHo arts district after a brief run in Los Angeles. Critics raved, as did members of the public fortunate enough to see the Biden oeuvre in person.
“Ees beauty-full,” said the purchaser of a large canvas at the Los Angeles exhibit. “Like I am always saying, thees Biden kid ees a natchral when comes to oils.” Asked how much he paid for the painting, the man, who gave his name simply as Yuri, said with a smile, “Ee-nuff.”
The younger Biden’s works were snapped up so quickly on the West Coast that there were no paintings or drawings left for the Manhattan show planned for later this fall. The crisis was averted, however, when archivists unearthed a collection of youthful works by Hunter, an important trove of drawings that SoHo gallery owner Sid Lascivious declares first revealed Biden’s artistic genius.
Drawn exclusively with Crayolas on construction paper, this collection has been dubbed the Elementary Period by scholars of the Biden catalog. Among them is this work (Fig. 1), on loan from Boston’s Gardner Museum.
“Note the fluidity of the lines,” commented Norm Stonegood, a professor of the infamous artist's correspondence school. “Hunter has clearly always been a master of lines.”
According to Mr. Lascivious, the gallery owner, Hunter has named the drawing Chicks Dig Me.
Figure 1: Chicks Dig Me
[The drawing had been among the works stolen from the Gardner in 1990, but for some reason, the thieves returned it to the museum, risking capture to slide it under the back door.]
As he matured, Hunter grappled with the grave issues of conflict in the world. This work (Fig. 2), titled Wham, Boom, Bam, shows a young man mastering his craft to bring the horrors of war to America’s doorstep.
“Facing images of violence was a way for Hunter to exorcise his demons,” eminent psychotherapist B.F.D. Skinner said. “It was all a matter of positive and negative reinforcement. If Hunter drew a picture, I gave him a cookie.” No picture, Skinner said, no cookie — cattle-prod. “That taught him something about life, I like to think.”
Figure 3: Thanksgiving, 3rd Grade
The final work displayed in the SoHo preview (Fig. 3) is one not officially titled. It has come to be known affectionately as Thanksgiving, Third Grade. Hunter, breaking a monthslong silence, offered his own commentary on the drawing: “Hey, even then I had big hands.”
The response to the work has almost uniformly been a reverent silence. But some were so overcome with emotion that they couldn’t be quiet. New York Times critic Dutch Cotter, upon viewing Thanksgiving, Third Grade, was heard to say, “Audubon’s got nothin’ on Hunter, Jack.”
Eric Felten is the James Beard Award-winning author of How's Your Drink?
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Original Author: Eric Felten
Original Location: Hunter Biden, exhibitionist