Hunter Biden plans to meet with prospective art buyers at two upcoming art shows displaying his work later this year, despite experts’ ethical concerns, according to multiple Thursday reports.
“He’s looking forward to it,” George Burgess Gallery spokesperson Robin Davis told the outlet. “It is like someone is debuting in the world. And of course he will be there.”
Burges, owner of the New York gallery, said the paintings are expected to be listed between $75,000- $500,000, the outlet reported.
A source familiar with the matter told CNN that Biden will not discuss prices or sales, just the creative process and the personal meaning the paintings have for him.
Government ethics experts have reportedly expressed concerns over buyers purchasing Biden’s artwork in an effort to gain influence with his father, President Joe Biden, CBS reported.
White House spokesperson Andrew Bates responded to the ethical concerns by pointing to a July 8 statement in response to Biden’s pledge to reform government the nation’s ethics and campaign-finance laws, saying the president’s administration has the “highest standards” of ethics out of any presidency.
“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 said, according to the outlet.
In response to these concerns, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said political influences will be avoided by keeping the buyers’ identities anonymous at a July 9 press conference.
“A system has been established that allows for Hunter Biden to work in his profession within reasonable safeguards,” Psaki said. “Of course, he has the right to pursue an artistic career just like any child of the president has the right to pursue a career. I think it would be challenging for an anonymous person who we don’t know and Hunter Biden doesn’t know to have influence.”
Walter Shaub, former head of the Office of Government Ethics under former President Barack Obama, condemned the White House’s decision to allow the art shows, arguing that Biden’s presence at the art shows is a chance to profit from his father’s presidency, according to CBS.
“Is Hunter Biden going to walk around the art show with a blindfold on?” Shaub said. “It just goes to show you the focus isn’t on government ethics. It’s just showing the child of the president can cash in one the presidency.” (RELATED: Obama Ethics Chief Calls Out Biden For Helping Shield Buyers Of Hunter’s ‘Art’)
Richard Painter, a chief ethics lawyer for former President George W. Bush, called the art shows a “bad idea” in a July 8 statement to The Washington Post.
“The whole thing is a really bad idea. The initial reaction is a lot of people are going to have is that he is capitalizing on being the son of a president and wants people to give him a lot of money,” Painter said. “I mean, those are awfully high prices.”