Is Hunter Biden’s art any good?

Well no, not really. But, Harry Shukman asks: can the art world really get snooty about his canvases?

Those who can’t do, teach. And those who can’t teach, teach gym. But what of those who can’t even do that? The answer may lie in lower Manhattan at a small art gallery where Hunter Biden is exhibiting his abstract works.

On a stretch of West Broadway, where boutique art shops staffed by prescription pill addicts flog pointless culture tokens to investment bankers, there is a gallery displaying a selection of paintings by the president’s son. Fifteen of Biden’s mixed media works, all created in 2020, are up for sale at the Georges Bergès gallery. Prices for these graphic prints begin at $75,000 and go as high as $500,000. How these figures were settled upon must have been a work of medieval alchemy, a secret process known only to the initiated.

That’s because Biden, 51, is not an artist by profession. He made his career in lobbying, investing, and later on, curiously joining the board of a Ukrainian energy company for the lucrative salary of $50,000 a month. Biden also has a sad history of addiction – he has been in and out of rehab for crack and alcohol use – and he says he has found painting helpful in his battle for sobriety. “It’s kept me grounded, and initially kept me away from that underworld just down the canyon from us,” he wrote in his autobiography, Beautiful Things. “Whether anybody likes it or not isn’t what drives me to get up to paint. I paint no matter what. I paint because I want to. I paint because I have to. Our house is filled with paintings.”

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