Hunter Biden Responds to Critics of His Paintings: 'F**k Them'
11:25 GMT 30.07.2021 (Updated: 11:27 GMT 30.07.2021)
© Photo : Image originally published by the New York PostPhoto of Hunter Biden relaxing in a bathtub, reportedly taken from a computer dropped off at a Delaware computer repair shop.
© Photo : Image originally published by the New York Post
Earlier this month, it became known that Joe Biden's second son, who has no education in the arts, will exhibit his works at the Georges Berges Gallery in NY and sell them at an auction, with reports saying the items are expected to fetch up to $500,000. This has prompted concerns that Hunter is profiting off his father's presidency.
Hunter Biden has responded to critics of his artistic endeavours with a few choice words. Speaking on the podcast "Nota Bene", Hunter was asked to comment on the disparaging remarks about his paintings, which critics deemed were overpriced. The 51-year-old son of the president was succinct: "F**k them". He then said that the value of an artist's work is not necessarily determined by the price.
"The price is completely subjective and sometimes has nothing to do with anything other than the moment", the up-and-coming artist said.
He then gave an example of Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, whose work "Comedian" – a banana attached to a wall with a duct tape – was sold for $120,000.
"It means something, and it meant something to someone. I am not saying I would be as audacious, or as presumptuous, as to tape a banana to a wall and try to sell it. But I think I'm doing stuff. Or at least I spent a lot of time — as my brother would say focus on the beautiful thing — I spent a lot of energy on this", Hunter said.
The president's second son then admitted that his father's status gives him an advantage - a platform to promote his works, something other artists don't have.
"It's been the unfair advantage of my whole life at different levels. My father has been a senator since the time I was two years old. It's a hell of a lot easier to get noticed not only by the cop who pulls you over for speeding but also by the school or whatever the endeavour may be. Or the law firm, or the whatever", he told the hosts of "Nota Bene".
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Allegations of Conflict of Interest
Former President Donald Trump has been repeatedly criticised for nepotism, with opponents pointing out his decision to appoint his daughter and his son-in-law as senior advisers. Joe Biden famously promised that no member of his family would be employed by the administration or profit off his presidency.
Yet, the news of his son's works possibly being sold at an auction for hundreds of thousands of dollars has immediately drawn concern from ethics experts. Concerns were replaced by indignation when it became known that the White House had struck a deal to withhold the names of bidders and buyers at the art auction, where Hunter's works will be sold. The White House said the arrangement will prevent buyers from seeking political influence with the Biden administration.
Obama-era government ethics chief Walter Shaub described the administration's move as "very disappointing".
"So instead of disclosing who is paying outrageous sums for Hunter Biden's artwork so that we could monitor whether the purchasers are gaining access to government, the WH tried to make sure we will never know who they are. It just goes to show you the focus isn't on government ethics. It's just showing the child of a president can cash in on the presidency", he said.
Other critics alleged that the exhibition could be used for money laundering as well as a way to influence the Biden administration. Allegations of conflict of interest have haunted Hunter Biden and his father.
Last October, the New York Post published a story alleging that Joe Biden was engaged in his son's business dealings overseas during his tenure as US vice president. The newspaper cited information it obtained from a laptop purportedly belonging to Hunter Biden that he ostensibly took to an IT store in 2019 to get repaired, but never returned to collect.
In particular, the New York Post wrote that Hunter Biden had reportedly arranged a meeting between an adviser to the board of the Ukrainian gas firm Burisma, Vadym Pozharskyi, and his father. Another trove of emails published by the newspaper suggested that Hunter Biden had sought lucrative deals for himself and his family.