Hunter Biden reborn as an artist -- with the New York Times puffing him

When you have a lot of money, a checkered history, and no talent, what do you do?

Well, art's always there. Anyone can do some art and all's erased.

Which brings us to Hunter Biden, disgraced son of Vice President Biden, whose cocaine habit, penchant for strippers, babydaddy issues, cashiered Naval history, and no-show jobs appearing for him on the heels of daddy's travels pretty well leave him with nothing else. He's not going to get hired by anyone, and having damaged himself amazingly well, he's probably all done with rehab, having done eight stints at that, so art therapy it is for him.

Unlike other artists, though, young Biden is nobody's idea of a starving artist.

From his $12,000 a month rented house in the Hollywood Hills, across a canyon from real artist David Hockney's big spread (he's the swimming pool guy), Hunter's now seeking to transform himself into the same.

Even less like other artists, Biden has a New York Times reporter writing him a puff piece publicizing his new career.

It rather raises more than a few questions as to why this piece was written at all.

Is the flattering piece a bid to boost Joe Biden's presidential prospects over those of Bernie Sanders, by showing the public that sonny boy isn't such a loser after all? How'd the Times reporter get Junior to open up for a reporter, any reporter, at all? He's been running from the press ever since the Burisma scandal broke. Were there written or verbal assurances the whole thing would be only about art? What about that customary "did nothing wrong" disclaimer in the Times story? Why's that so important? Lastly, how'd the Times reporter even get word to do the story, -- was there a publicist? Was the whole thing to help Joe's presidential prospects? It kind of looks like it's a possible.

While I don't think the title 'artist' should be all that sacred as it has been in the last 100 years, and I don't utterly fault him for going into art - I think more people should, and he's not the worst I've seen - his work seems a bit better than retired President Bush's, who is still learning and doing a more-demanding representational style of art, the whole thing looks like a diletantte's bid. The art critics say his style doesn't vary much, and it looks like the work of someone trying to make sense of abstract shapes. What makes me suspicious of his talents is his claim to have spent years drawing, but never taken any schooling. While there's a good use of color and design in his work, there's no evidence of drawing, or even skill in drawing informing his work. And the giant signature across the bottom of each work is strictly amateur hour, the doing of paint-by-numbers and dog-card-game artists. That's an embarrassment. No wonder he hasn't gotten any gallery representation, that's embarrassing.

The critics are mean as sharks, according to trade newspaper ArtNet News:

“Generic Post Zombie Formalism illustration” is how Jerry Saltz, New York magazine critic and author of the forthcoming book How to Be an Artist, characterized Biden’s work in an email to Artnet News.

Saltz also offered a few words of advice: “Lose the big signature at once; forget the Kusama dots altogether; experiment with the surface and color and tools. Really consider the whole-page as a space and not make everything derivative all-over composition. The background doesn’t always have to be white, you big baby.”

 

Meanwhile, art critic Scott Indrisek, former deputy editor of Artsy, had this to say: “Hunter’s paintings have a kind of vaguely scientific, vaguely psychedelic vibe that reminds me of Fred Tomaselli—if Fred Tomaselli started making art for dermatologists’ waiting rooms. But then again, the process here seems more important than the finished product. I guess it’s important that wounded men of a certain age and privileged background have the opportunity to find themselves creatively… it’s just too bad that everyone else is expected to pay attention.”

Artnet News’s own art critic Ben Davis had a somewhat more favorable response: “As digital images, at least, they are pleasing. It’s hard to say what they look like without seeing how the actual paper holds the ink. You can’t really judge it from your desktop.”

“It doesn’t seem like there’s a style or a theme, just a kind of seeing-what-pattern-the-ink-suggests kind of thing,” Davis added. “It seems like he’s trying to occupy his mind, and three of the four you see kind of read as trying to fill up the empty space and to make some structure out of a mess—so pretty allegorical in terms of where he finds himself.”

In short, he's a dilettante, still trying to capitalize off dads' name and get word out that he did "nothing wrong." He's got the New York Times right there to help him out.

Image credit: Twitter screen shot

 

When you have a lot of money, a checkered history, and no talent, what do you do?

Well, art's always there. Anyone can do some art and all's erased.

Which brings us to Hunter Biden, disgraced son of Vice President Biden, whose cocaine habit, penchant for strippers, babydaddy issues, cashiered Naval history, and no-show jobs appearing for him on the heels of daddy's travels pretty well leave him with nothing else. He's not going to get hired by anyone, and having damaged himself amazingly well, he's probably all done with rehab, having done eight stints at that, so art therapy it is for him.

Unlike other artists, though, young Biden is nobody's idea of a starving artist.

From his $12,000 a month rented house in the Hollywood Hills, across a canyon from real artist David Hockney's big spread (he's the swimming pool guy), Hunter's now seeking to transform himself into the same.

Even less like other artists, Biden has a New York Times reporter writing him a puff piece publicizing his new career.

It rather raises more than a few questions as to why this piece was written at all.

Is the flattering piece a bid to boost Joe Biden's presidential prospects over those of Bernie Sanders, by showing the public that sonny boy isn't such a loser after all? How'd the Times reporter get Junior to open up for a reporter, any reporter, at all? He's been running from the press ever since the Burisma scandal broke. Were there written or verbal assurances the whole thing would be only about art? What about that customary "did nothing wrong" disclaimer in the Times story? Why's that so important? Lastly, how'd the Times reporter even get word to do the story, -- was there a publicist? Was the whole thing to help Joe's presidential prospects? It kind of looks like it's a possible.

While I don't think the title 'artist' should be all that sacred as it has been in the last 100 years, and I don't utterly fault him for going into art - I think more people should, and he's not the worst I've seen - his work seems a bit better than retired President Bush's, who is still learning and doing a more-demanding representational style of art, the whole thing looks like a diletantte's bid. The art critics say his style doesn't vary much, and it looks like the work of someone trying to make sense of abstract shapes. What makes me suspicious of his talents is his claim to have spent years drawing, but never taken any schooling. While there's a good use of color and design in his work, there's no evidence of drawing, or even skill in drawing informing his work. And the giant signature across the bottom of each work is strictly amateur hour, the doing of paint-by-numbers and dog-card-game artists. That's an embarrassment. No wonder he hasn't gotten any gallery representation, that's embarrassing.

The critics are mean as sharks, according to trade newspaper ArtNet News:

“Generic Post Zombie Formalism illustration” is how Jerry Saltz, New York magazine critic and author of the forthcoming book How to Be an Artist, characterized Biden’s work in an email to Artnet News.

Saltz also offered a few words of advice: “Lose the big signature at once; forget the Kusama dots altogether; experiment with the surface and color and tools. Really consider the whole-page as a space and not make everything derivative all-over composition. The background doesn’t always have to be white, you big baby.”

 

Meanwhile, art critic Scott Indrisek, former deputy editor of Artsy, had this to say: “Hunter’s paintings have a kind of vaguely scientific, vaguely psychedelic vibe that reminds me of Fred Tomaselli—if Fred Tomaselli started making art for dermatologists’ waiting rooms. But then again, the process here seems more important than the finished product. I guess it’s important that wounded men of a certain age and privileged background have the opportunity to find themselves creatively… it’s just too bad that everyone else is expected to pay attention.”

Artnet News’s own art critic Ben Davis had a somewhat more favorable response: “As digital images, at least, they are pleasing. It’s hard to say what they look like without seeing how the actual paper holds the ink. You can’t really judge it from your desktop.”

“It doesn’t seem like there’s a style or a theme, just a kind of seeing-what-pattern-the-ink-suggests kind of thing,” Davis added. “It seems like he’s trying to occupy his mind, and three of the four you see kind of read as trying to fill up the empty space and to make some structure out of a mess—so pretty allegorical in terms of where he finds himself.”

In short, he's a dilettante, still trying to capitalize off dads' name and get word out that he did "nothing wrong." He's got the New York Times right there to help him out.

Image credit: Twitter screen shot