MeIt was another starry night in Hollywood. In the white-walled room of the Milk Studio art gallery, a violinist performed before the projected animation, performed by musician Moby, artist Shepard Fairey, and Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garsetti. Reportedly About 200 people.
Artwork that combines canvas, Yuppo paper, wood, metal with oil, acrylic, ink, and written words was exhibited. Organizers want to sell for up to $ 500,000. This is an unusually high amount for an up-and-coming artist. But then, the artist happened to be the son of the President of the United States.
Hunter Biden’s potentially lucrative new career – he is represented by the Georges Berger Gallery in New York. His achievement is “Powerful and impactful paintings, from photogenic to mixed media to abstracts” – an ethical headache for the White House, who promised to set an example.
Experts have issued a warning that individuals may purchase artwork – Be expected Get between $ 75,000 and $ 500,000 – Curry your favors and try to gain influence with Joe Biden. They also accuse hunters of trading their father’s name and position in a way that is not illegal but ignores ethical norms.
“”I find it very annoying,” Said Walter Shaub, He was Director of the Office of Government Ethics under President Barack Obama. “You won’t get any points just by following the incredibly weak rules of ethics we have, and a legitimate approach will blind you to obvious common sense issues. And here are the obvious issues. there is.
“We obviously have a family trading in the name of his father. The man has never sold a work of art and has never attended a community center art show, Suddenly he sells art at a great price. No one has paid $ 75,000 other than his name. “
Biden has always been a fierce defender of Hunter (51), who has been involved in controversy for years and his tax affairs. Currently under investigation By the Justice Ministry. Donald Trump’s attempts to use the hunter’s problem as a weapon for political gain in the 2020 presidential election have leveled off.
Hunter earlier this year Published memoirs He elaborated on the fight against alcoholism and substance abuse, denied cheating on the board of directors of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma, and spent more than $ 50,000 a month from 2014 to 2019. I earned. Father as some were afraid.
But his recent pursuit of painting can be more complicated.Hunter Said in an interview with the New York Times last year He took it as a hobby during his recovery from addiction and found comfort in art when he was at the heart of Trump’s 2019 impeachment trial.
In July he said Nota Bene: This Week’s Art World Podcast The price of art is “fully subjective” and claims that: I would be surprised if my art sold for $ 10. “
But the sale of his work. It seems to have survived as a media story in a way that the ridiculous right-wing conspiracy theory never did. Hunters are faced with the accusations that he is making money, as President Jimmy Carter’s younger brother launched and sold “Billy Beer” in 1977.
Shaub, now Government Oversight Project Watchdog commented: As applied to him, he is a citizen whose father happens to be the leader of the country, so he has a patriotic obligation not to run around trying to take advantage of the relationship.
“Sure, if he doesn’t comply with that obligation, he’s not a criminal, but he’s not a patriot. He cares about a country that has just experienced four years of ethical nightmares. Not a person. He sees a lucrative opportunity and says: I’m going to do it. Who cares what it does to my country?‘”
Concerns over conflicts of interest have cast a shadow over the president’s efforts to swear “my words as Biden” and have shown to the world that the United States has turned its corner after the following constant allegations: .. Trump’s business and family benefited from his officeIncludes the appointment of his daughter and son-in-law to senior positions in the White House.
Biden has issued a memorandum of understanding establishing the fight against corruption as a core national security interest. His administration responded to the Pandora Papers by promising to increase the transparency of the financial system.
It sought to anticipate hunter art questions by reaching the first reported agreement. The Washington Post in July, Under that, gallery owner Georges Berges set the price of the art, did not reveal who bid or bought it, and rejected the seemingly exorbitant offer.
However, there is no mechanism to monitor the agreement. Critics say the presence of the hunter at a recent gallery event in Hollywood claims that neither he nor the White House knows the identity of the buyer. Garsetti, who also attended, is Biden’s next US ambassador and candidate to be the former national co-chair of the 2020 presidential election.
The issue was briefly addressed this week by White House spokesman Jen Psaki.
She told reporters at a daily briefing: I still don’t know who will buy the painting. And the president is proud of his son. Saki intervened sharply when the reporter attempted to follow up. “Did you have any other questions?”
Shaub accused her of being “unfriendly” and described the agreement to keep buyers anonymous as “an insult to our intellect.” He explained: “Anyone who spends tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy art because it was created by the president’s son will be very open and loud about the fact that they bought it. It will be the centerpiece of the event, and information will come out soon. This is a farce... “
Some commentators argue that transparency works better than secrets, allowing the public to know if buyers such as political lobbyists have paid suspiciously high prices. When the Guardian called Georges Bergès Gallery, he was told to send an email, but he didn’t get a reply. When the Guardian called the Milk Studio, which hosted the Hunter show, the man answered twice and hung up twice.
Ethics expert Kathleen Clark, A professor of law at the University of Washington has joined the criticism of the arrangement. “It’s a real shame that Hunter Biden chose to try to make money in a way that is sensitive to dominant bargaining position.
“Currently, he is an adult and the ethical standards that bind elected officials and civil servants do not apply directly to him, while not all forms of compensated work are vulnerable of this kind. However, it is very difficult to know the exact value of a painting, so this kind of work is vulnerable. “
The former White House has historically set low standards, Clark added. “The Trump administration gave the impression that they were trying to be unethical, as they were seeking some sort of unethical championship bid, if not criminal. That was the goal. It’s not like that. But if, for example, the Biden administration can’t do it from a transparency perspective, it can still be disappointing. “
Indeed, the breadth and depth of the Trump scandal, which has captivated the media for four years, may have partially protected Biden and Hunter from continuous scrutiny.Recent books on the Biden family Politico journalist Ben Schreckinger Some allegedly leaked emails from hunter laptops regarding commercial transactions provide evidence that they are genuine and, as widely assumed, were not produced by Russian intelligence.
Shaub suggested that many people were unaware of the ethical issues of their artwork for two reasons. “One is an evolved bipartisan in our country, and those who voted for Biden are running around saying,” Well, that’s not as bad as Trump. “
“Of course, it’s not as bad as Trump, but” better than Trump “should never be the standard in this country. I haven’t even imagined it. “
He continued. “The second thing that blinds people is that there were a lot of unjustified slander. Hunter biden By a very well-funded political actor who was completely dishonest to their ridiculous accusations. I think it worked at their base, but it really clouded the matter because Hunter Biden isn’t the villain that makes these political actors make him do so.
“But he’s also not a good citizen the White House wants you to believe. It’s a man whose life is based on making money based on his father’s political career, It is not something we should accept, celebrate and tolerate in this country, so two things can be true at the same time.“
According to Shaub, US allies around the world are looking at the United States for evidence that the country has stabilized in the aftermath of President Trump. “Yes, we have a new administration that is not rampant in the rule of law, but it is moving towards the rule of law, and if it is legal, we do it. I’m going and we’re saying it’s not going to focus on reforms, we’re not going to focus on setting squeaky clean tones, we’re in front of Trump I’m going to return to the state.“
Does Hunter Biden’s art project portray the president in an ethical corner? | Hunter Biden
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