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The White House brokered a deal with a gallery to protect itself from ethical issues from Hunter Biden selling artwork for as much as $500,000: report

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Hunter Biden Joe Biden
Hunter and Joe Biden. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool

The White House brokered a deal to protect itself from accusations of ethical conflicts in the upcoming sale of Hunter Biden artworks, according to The Washington Post.

Hunter Biden, the 51-year-old second son of President Joe Biden, is having his art displayed and auctioned at the Georges Bergès Gallery in New York City this fall.

Bergès, who represents Hunter Biden, told Art News last month that asking prices will range from $75,000 to $500,000.

Washington Post national correspondent Annie Gowen posted one image on Twitter showing a piece with a $500,000 asking price.

Other images are display on Biden's artist page on the Georges Bergès Gallery site.

Per The Post, White House officials worried that the sales could raise ethical issues for Biden and is taking steps to mitigate risks.

The outlet said officials quietly asked Bergès to reject any suspicious offers, or those that come in far above the asking prices.

The Post said that identities of bidders would also remain secret, and that if a buyer's identity were to become public the White House may warn officials not to engage with the person at all to avoid any claims of preferential treatment.

Biden has previously pledged to maintain "an absolute wall" between the US government and his family's business interests, and said no family members would get official roles.

Insider contacted the White House for comment.

Despite the measures, critics of the arrangement say the sale is still a problem.

"The whole thing is a really bad idea," Richard Painter, the chief ethics lawyer to President George W. Bush, told The Post.

"The initial reaction a lot of people are going to have is that he's capitalizing on being the son of a president and wants people to give him a lot of money. I mean, those are awfully high prices."

Walter Shaub, who headed the Office of Government Ethics from 2013 to 2017, told The Post: "Because we don't know who is paying for this art and we don't know for sure that [Hunter Biden] knows, we have no way of monitoring whether people are buying access to the White House."

Hunter Biden told Art News last month that in his art he hoped to convey "universal truth."

"The universal truth is that everything is connected and that there's something that goes far beyond what is our five senses and that connects us all," he said.

"I don't paint from emotion or feeling, which I think are both very ephemeral."

According to the George Bèrges Gallery, Hunter Biden "has been a lifelong artist that has devoted his artistic career to both the written word and the visual arts."

"Biden's paintings range from photographic mix-media to abstract works on canvas, yupo paper, wood and metal."

Read the original article on Business Insider

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