What would you pay for a Biden?
The money magnet of the Biden family, First Son Hunter, is now officially an artist – having had his first gallery showing. There is a folklore belief that artists are not financially successful in their lifetime – that is often the case, but not always.
Many artists make a very nice living off their creations. And it appears that Hunter Biden is in that category. A couple of his paintings have sold for an astounding $75,000 each. That makes Hunter one of the most successful living neophyte artists of all times. He is right up there with the likes of Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock — both of whom received handsome prices while they were still alive. And even better after they died.
But Hunter is not like those other artists. The prices they commanded were based on the quality of their artistry that developed over many years. They did not sell their first attempts at anything near the prices that launched Hunter’s career as an artist.
Most fine art is purchased by people who like what they see AND as an investment. They expect the value of the paintings will increase over time. That is not always the outcome, but it is almost always the anticipation.
There is one thing that could explain why Hunter’s art works are commanding such a high price. It may have to do with the unique and exceptional quality of his work. Hmmmm. That does not appear to be the case. Quite the contrary.
Art critics have deemed Hunter’s work product as “pedestrian,” “amateurish” and even “garbage.” One art expert said it is one step above paint-by-numbers. Another called it computer screensaver stuff. When asked to do a professional estimate of the value of Hunter’s paintings, another expert said between $200 and $2500. Another sarcastically suggested that the canvas was worth more before Hunter applied paint to it.
Having seen a number of Hunter’s paintings, I think the critics are being a bit harsh. As a person who has put brush to canvas on occasion, I have to say that Hunter has more talent than I would have expected for a professional grifter. But there is a Pantheon of reprobates who have exhibited artistic talent – including serial killer John Gacy and Adolph Hitler.
At least we can surmise where Hunter may be getting his inspirations. Those years of serious drugging? Hallucinogenic flashbacks?
What we have in Hunter is a self-proclaimed artist with mediocre talent. There are undoubtedly thousands of young gals and guys coming out of art schools with more talent than Hunter. Yet, he is getting the big bucks for pedestrian paintings.
Well, we all know why. Because he is the controversial son of the President of the United States. Being controversial may even add to Hunter’s market value. Makes him a celebrity. But why are people willing to pay exorbitant prices knowing that – as investments – Hunter’s paintings are guaranteed losers. They will never be worth anything near those initial purchase prices in the future.
To understand what is going on, we only need look at the Clinton Foundation. It was getting millions of dollars of donations from shakers and movers all over the world – as long as it appeared that Hillary was going to become the President of the United States. Once she lost the election, all those mega donors became a lot less “charitable.” I suspect that once Daddy Biden is no longer in the White House, the value of a Hunter will drop faster than his father’s current favorable rating.
Hunter is currently commanding higher prices for his works than former President George W. Bush. That is because – as an ex-President – Bush’s sketches and paintings do not have that influence peddling surcharge.
Those paying $75,000 and up for Hunter’s works are not doing it for the artworks. They want to get on the radar of the White House – curry favor. Claiming to not want Hunter’s works being seen as common influence peddling, the White House came up with the questionable idea that the buyers’ names would remain secret – arguing that daddy Biden, or other administration officials, would never know who purchased the paintings.
That is a sham. Those who purchase the paintings can let anyone they please know of their purchase – including the folks in the White House. The only folks who are not likely to ever find out who purchased the paintings are the American people. This is reverse transparency. We the people will not even know who the purchasers tell.
This whole art operation has a putrid smell to it. But what can be done about it? Nothing. There is no law against Hunter peddling paintings – and no law against overpaying for them. Unless the Justice Department can tie a purchase of a painting with some favor coming from the Oval office, there is no case to be made. And the folks at the Department of Justice are more likely to buy a painting than investigate the artist.
And finally …. Having perused the artworks displayed in several museums of modern art, I cannot say Biden is not producing the worst art – even if it is one step above paint-by-numbers. But who would hang a Hunter next to their Picasso?
So. There ‘tis.