Ethics experts and art critics are raising concerns about Hunter Biden’s upcoming art show, in which his paintings are expected to sell for prices from $75,000 to as high as $500,000.
The owner of the New York gallery where Biden’s show will take place, Georges Bergès, is also planning to set the prices for the art and withhold all sales records.
“The whole thing is a really bad idea,” Richard Painter, chief ethics lawyer to President George W. Bush from 2005-2007 told the Post. “The initial reaction a lot of people are going to have is that he’s capitalizing on being the son of a president and wants people to give him a lot of money. I mean, those are awfully high prices.”
Painter also noted that foreign actors could buy the art through intermediaries in order to gain favor with the Biden White House.
Walter Shaub, who led the Office of Government Ethics under President Barack Obama, also voiced his concerns to the Post.
“Because we don’t know who is paying for this art and we don’t know for sure that [Hunter Biden] knows, we have no way of monitoring whether people are buying access to the White House,” said Shaub. “What these people are paying for is Hunter Biden’s last name.”
“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. That’s very disappointing,” Shaub later added in a tweet.
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. That’s very disappointing. /1 https://t.co/4ToAJNwWg7
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) July 8, 2021
The president’s son has also received scrutiny for his many overseas business dealings, including the stake he continues to hold in a Chinese private equity firm. (RELATED: Here’s What We’ve Found Digging Through Hunter Biden’s Alleged Laptop)
He also revealed shortly after the 2020 election that there has been an ongoing federal investigation into his business dealings since 2018.
Biden’s first solo art exhibition will include 15 paintings and is scheduled to open in October at Bergès gallery in Soho, along with a private viewing for VIP collectors in Los Angeles in September.
When reached out to for comment by the Post, White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates denied any wrongdoing on the part of the Biden family.
“The president has established the highest ethical standards of any administration in American history, and his family’s commitment to rigorous processes like this is a prime example,” Bates told the Post.