In an apparent effort to shore up his scandal-ridden reputation by means of a creative change of career, Hunter Biden, the son of President-elect Joe Biden, is said to be gearing up to crack into the art scene.
The 50-year-old lawyer and investment adviser is reportedly planning to host the first exhibition of his art in Manhattan next year, writes Page Six.
With a reputation severely pockmarked by his allegedly questionable business dealings, particularly in China and Ukraine where he was on the board of energy company Burisma, and a recent probe by the US Attorney's Office into his tax affairs, Hunter Biden is reported to be signing a deal with Georges Berges Gallery in SoHo.
Joe Biden’s only living son since the death of his eldest child, Beau Biden, of brain cancer in 2015, is said to have been seeking representation as an artist since late 2019.
Hunter Biden, who has worked as a lobbyist, venture capitalist and an investor, recently revealed that art "kept him sane" during his protracted struggle with alcohol and drug addiction.
Painting “keeps me away from people and places where I shouldn’t be,” said Hunter Biden, well-known for his foreign dealings and his battles with drug addiction https://t.co/4kWHygfyJd— New York Times Arts (@nytimesarts) February 28, 2020
In a recent interview with the New York Times, Biden Junior claimed that painting “puts [his] energy toward something positive… and keeps [him] away from people and places where [he] shouldn’t be”.
“The one thing I have left is my art. It’s the one thing they can’t take away from me or conflate with anything else,” Hunter Biden was quoted as saying.
According to the February interview, the recovering addict has been painting almost daily to soothe the "trauma of his past".
The aspiring artist is said to use Japanese Yupo paper, multicoloured alcohol ink and a metal straw to conjure up "psychedelic florals and ethereal patterns that look like nature viewed through a microscope, leaning toward the surreal." Biden’s artistic dabbling was briefly mentioned in an ABC News piece dated October 2019.
Not all critics have treated Hunter Biden’s artistic endeavours with ‘kid gloves’.
Jerry Saltz, art critic of New York Magazine, wrote off Hunter’s work as “Generic Post Zombie Formalism illustration”, speaking to Artnet News. He also called Biden a "big baby," in his scathing review.
There has not yet been any official response to the report from either the Georges Berges gallery or Hunter Biden’s spokesman.
Hunter Biden in 'Crosshairs'
The purported foray into the world of art comes as the younger Biden’s questionable business dealings in China and Ukraine are being actively investigated by federal authorities, CNN reported on 10 December, a day after the now President-elect’s son released a statement acknowledging the probe.
On 9 December, Hunter Biden announced that the US Attorney's Office in Delaware is investigating his tax affairs, with Fox News also citing a source as saying the investigation will cover his alleged dealings with China as well.
The Wall Street Journal later reported that US Attorney General William Barr was aware that several inquiries had been launched into Hunter’s tax affairs but did not make them public because of the Justice Department’s policy of non-interference during the electoral season.
Donald Trump, who throughout the re-election campaign had condemned the "corrupt" Biden family that makes "crooked Hillary Clinton look like an amateur", said that Barr’s silence on the matter was a "big disappointment".
Why didn’t Bill Barr reveal the truth to the public, before the Election, about Hunter Biden. Joe was lying on the debate stage that nothing was wrong, or going on - Press confirmed. Big disadvantage for Republicans at the polls!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2020
It was subsequently announced that Barr would not be heading the US Department of Justice after the Christmas holidays.
The Hunter Biden corruption scandal blew up in October, during the presidential election campaign, after the New York Post published an article on alleged evidence discovered on a laptop, believed to have belonged to Joe Biden’s son.
The potentially incriminating extracted information reportedly suggested that Hunter Biden had been arranging meetings with his father during the latter’s stint as vice-president in the Barack Obama administration in exchange for cash. Documents which surfaced also allegedly contained details about his drug addiction and sex life, with a spate of photos showing Hunter Biden engaging in sex acts and smoking what appears to be crack cocaine.
Extensively wielded by the Trump campaign against the Republican’s rival in the race for the White House, Joe Biden’s team had dismissed the reports as “Russian disinformation”, and the mainstream media ignored the story for weeks.