The pieces of art were reportedly sold by the Georges Berges Gallery before a “pop up” presentation in Los Angeles on Oct. 1.
“It’s unclear who purchased the reproductions — which cost a fraction of the top price of $500,000 for an original piece by President Biden’s scandal-scarred son — or if any more were sold after the LA show opened,” the New York Post reported.
“But most of those allowed to buy works are long-term, private collectors with the gallery,” a source familiar with the sale told the outlet.
On Oct. 1, Biden’s artwork was featured at the Milk Studios in Hollywood, which attracted about 200 people, including boxer Sugar Ray Leonard and musician Moby. Also in attendance at the “tightly-policed event” was Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti – who was a national co-chairman of Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign and was nominated by the president to serve as the U.S. ambassador to India.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked on Wednesday about Garcetti attending the art event for the president’s son.
“The ethicists who have pointed to this arrangement have expressed concern that the President’s son selling art could potentially put the President in a situation where those who seek jobs either in this administration or favors from this administration could put this White House in an awkward position,” CBS News Radio reporter Steven Portnoy said, and then asked, “Should we expect to see more people who seek jobs in this administration attending events like this in the future?”
Psaki replied, “Again, the gallerist has spoken to — we’ve spoken to the specifics of what the gallerist has agreed to and what recommendations were made. I’ve done that several times. I don’t have additional details for it from here. I’d point you to them.”
“And we were very transparent about what recommendations were made to the gallerist, and I would again point you to them or the many times I’ve spoken about that from here,” she added.
Former chief White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter – who served in George W. Bush’s administration – explained that Biden mingling with 200 people at his art show “illustrates how this veil-of-secrecy idea is not happening.”
“It shows the deal’s not going to be secret,” Painted added. “I think the White House needs to go to Plan B.”
Painter also commented about Hunter selling prints for $75,000, “Buyers buy artwork to hang on the wall, not put in a closet.”
During a Friday night appearance on “The Ingraham Angle,” Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) skewered the Biden administration for Hunter Biden’s art venture.
Nunes asked, “Who buys a piece of artwork and doesn’t put it up on their wall? I mean, how are they gonna keep this secret?”
“It’s ludicrous. The whole thing is outrageous,” Nunes said of Hunter Biden’s lucrative foray into the art world. “The American people know it.”
“This was supposed to be the most transparent administration in history and clearly they went to an area that’s known for fraud and money laundering,” the Republican lawmaker said. “That’s why they’re doing this.”
Walter Shaub – the former director of the Office of Government Ethics during the Obama administration – previously bashed the Biden administration over Hunter’s highly profitable new endeavor, saying it is “the opposite of government ethics.”
“Nobody ever said secrecy was the best disinfectant, but that’s what we have now. And White House officials getting involved in any way other than to request transparency amounts to effectively putting an official stamp of approval on the president’s son trading on his father’s public service,” Shaub said in July. “Instead, the president should be begging his son not to go through with this sale, even if that means threatening to banish him from the family’s Thanksgiving table this fall and publicly condemning his actions.”
Shaub stated that the White House “has put its stamp of approval on the president’s son profiting off his father’s public service again.”
Shaub noted that the art industry is “fertile ground for money laundering.”
Artnet noted that the prices for Hunter Biden’s artwork would put him “in the very top tier of emerging artists.”
“Even if they were mind-bending contemporary-art breakthroughs, that would put Biden—who has never had an art show before, and started blowing ink on Japanese paper as a kind of therapy as he attempted to recover from multiple well-documented personal disasters—in the very top tier of emerging artists.”
Discussing Hunter’s art and the speculative prices of his works, New York art gallery owner Marc Straus said, “For someone who has no professional training and has never sold art on the commercial market, no one would ever start at these prices.”
The report from the Post also claimed that Hunter’s art show in New York City that was scheduled to open this month has been delayed until the spring. The show in Los Angeles will reportedly continue through November.