Hunter Biden's amazing, extraordinary, sublime, unprecedented art talent has his paintings selling for $500,000 a pop
When news came out about crackhead Hunter Biden suddenly taking up yet another career as a full-time "artist," all I could think of at the time was that this was a cleverly disguised means of taking bribes. Sell a painting at an inflated price, pocket the cash from the special interest, then return the political favor through the Big Guy. No one would be able to prove a thing.
Now that some of the prices of Biden's pieces are coming out, let's just say the suspicion grows.
According to Breitbart News:
President Joe Biden's scandal-plagued son Hunter Biden is reportedly now engaged as a "full-time artist" and is working with Soho art dealer Georges Bergès to hold an exhibition in New York in the coming months, with prices for Hunter's artwork ranging from $75,000 to $500,000, according to Artnet.
Amid years of scandal, the 51-year-old Hunter Biden is apparently now "laying low" in his Los Angeles home while working on his artwork. Bergès, his dealer, plans to host a "private viewing for Biden in Los Angeles this fall, followed by an exhibition in New York." Bergès told Artnet that prices for Hunter's work will "range from $75,000 for works on paper to $500,000 for large-scale paintings."
Seriously, $500,000 for a Hunter Biden painting? That he does with a blowpipe? Something he taught himself? Something he's been working at for around one or two years, following his various careers in the military, finance, writing, and serving as old dad's bagboy on his travels? Following his wasted life of drugs, hookers, strippers, cocaine, and sleazy Hollywood hotel parties and flophouses, as described in his $2-million-advance memoirs, which brought in around $10,000 in sales?
How many other artists have that kind of success straight out the gate after a crackhead life with prices like those?
Beginning artists, without Biden's political connections, in fact, sell artwork for maybe $1,000 a pop, $2,000 tops, according to ArtBusiness, a leading website about the industry.
In a piece titled "How any artist can price their art for sale," the way it's done is like this:
For those of you who have little or no sales experience, who haven't sold much art, a good starting point for you is to price your work based on time, labor, and cost of materials. Pay yourself a reasonable hourly wage, add the cost of materials and make that your asking price. For example, if materials cost $50, you take 20 hours to make the art, and you pay yourself $20 an hour to make it, then you price the art at $450 ($20 X 20 hours + $50 cost of materials). Don't forget the comparables, though. If you use this formula and your art turns out to be more expensive than what other artists in your area charge for similar art, you may have to rethink your pricing, pay yourself a little less per hour perhaps.
This is how normal people do it. There's more about that:
To begin with, be objective about your art and your experience. In order for your prices to make sense, you have to fairly, honestly and objectively evaluate how your art measures up to other art that's out there. In order to make valid comparisons, you need a good ballpark idea how the quality of your art and the extent of your accomplishments stack up against those of other artists, particularly the ones who you'll be comparing yourself to. In other words, don't exaggerate your stature. If you've been making art for three years, for example, don't compare yourself to artists who've been making it for twenty. Being honest like this is not necessarily easy and it's not necessarily pleasant, but it's essential if you want to make it as an artist.
Base your pricing on facts, not feelings. Don't confuse your own personal opinion of your art, or what you think the art world should be like, or how you think it should respond to your art, with how things actually are. If you find yourself saying stuff like "People don't understand my work" or "People don't appreciate me" or "I'm just as good as Vincent Picasso even though he's famous and I'm not" or "Sooner or later I'll find the perfect dealer or collector or whatever and live happily ever after," you may be making some errors in judgment. If you're not quite sure where you stand, invite a few people to look at your art and tell you what they think — preferably professionals who know something about art — not your best friends or biggest fans, but ones who'll be honest and direct. Encourage them to be truthful because that's what you need. And don't get defensive; doing this will help you. When you're objective about your art, you maximize your chances of succeeding as an artist.
Does Hunter's art merit that $500,000 selling price over what his competitors are selling, or is something funny going on?
Even among his political competitors, such as former President George W. Bush, there's no evidence that he's money-laundering. I couldn't find a single price for one of his mediocre yet obviously worked-on paintings. Bush himself seems to monetize his hobby by selling spinoffs for $29.95 a pop, in picture books and prints, an obviously more transparent and less lucrative game.
Breitbart points out that the Bergès gallery has some pretty rich Chinese clients, citing the New York Post:
According to the New York Post, Bergès has some ties to China. The art dealer reportedly "regularly features works by Chinese artists and told a Chinese network that he was keen to open other art galleries in Beijing and Shanghai in 2015."
Bergès has lavished praise on China's role in the art world. In 2014, Bergès told the Chinese state-owned media outlet China Daily, "The questions that I always had was how's China changing the world in terms of art and culture."
What's more, the art industry is probably the most unregulated industry in America (which, as an aside, is likely why paintings and sculpture are among New York City's top exports):
Money laundering in the art world has been identified as an issue, as detailed by a bipartisan Senate investigation last year:
The Senate report details how a pair of Russian oligarchs with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin allegedly seized on the secrecy of the art industry to evade sanctions by making more than $18 million in high-value art purchases.
"This is just the tip of the iceberg," investigators for the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations told reporters on a call. The art world is considered to be the largest legal unregulated industry in the United States, according to the Senate investigation. ...
The Rotenberg example and many other investigation details highlight the fact that, unlike selling stock or making routine bank transfers, art sales through auction houses are not subject to anti-money laundering provisions in the Bank Secrecy Act. When art is sold, according to the report, sellers are not required to confirm the identity of the buyer nor to make sure the artwork isn't being used to launder dirty money.
Peter Schweizer, a veteran corruption-hunter, who has written numerous books on Washington's power elites, smells a rat:
"Hunter Biden was repeatedly hired and given deals by foreign entities that he was clearly not qualified for in the hopes of getting favors from his father," Schweizer told Breitbart News. "It is not a stretch to believe that foreign entities will pay for or commission his works of art at inflated prices to do the same."
Everyone else should, too. How could someone with that little talent be raking in $500,000 for his art pieces at his first gallery show, while everyone else with real art training gets just pennies? With a guy who's got China buyers? For those who know real working artists, the Hunter bonanza sticks out.
And a lot of the art-world praise has been faint, according to the New York Post:
Art consultant Martin Galindo told The Post that while he's "not a fan" of the work by Hunter that he's seen, "I'm very positive that he's gonna do well in the market because this industry is very much about, what's a simple way to put this — it's like clout."
Referring to a psychedelic blue and pinkish ink work by Hunter that resembles bacteria under a microscope, Galindo said, "Oh, my God, that looks like COVID.
"Honestly, I mean, from an aesthetic perspective, I don't like it. But I'm sure he's gonna do really well," the art consultant said.
Meanwhile, a 67-year-old art collector on the Upper East Side called Hunter's work "nice."
"They're different,'' she said of some of his pieces.
Still, the woman, who only gave her first name, Jill, said, "I think a lot of people can do that.
Where's Joe Biden to rein his inson in this obvious racket? It's reasonable to suspect that Joe's doing the political favors, laundered through art sales, on Hunter's behalf, given old Joe's past actions on behalf of son Hunter. These include Biden's call to fire a Ukraine prosecutor who was investigating Hunter's cash cow, Ukrainian energy company Burisma, where the sudden "energy expert" somehow found himself with a board seat.
Is Hunter now laundering cash for House Biden through the unregulated art market? One wonders who's buying those overpriced paintings. The public certainly has a right to know.
Photo illustration by Monica Showalter with use of cropped images by Gage Skidmore, via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, Acaben, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.0, PxFuel public domain, and SKopp via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.
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