Throughout the chaos that’s gripped 2020, one public figure could be relied upon to provide the sort of energy that’s entertainingly dangerous in a potentially more innocuous way: Hunter Biden, the recovering-addict son of President-elect Joe Biden and a budding artist in his own right. In February, Hunter Biden revealed via a New York Times profile that he’d taken up painting, spending entire days blowing multicolored alcohol ink through metal straws onto Japanese Yupo paper. The results, while not genius, appear to have been pleasant enough to create in order to keep Biden occupied. Now, according to a report from the New York Post, Biden is in the process of signing a deal to be represented by New York’s Georges Bergès Gallery.
Additionally, the Post elaborated that an announcement of Biden’s signing, and a subsequent solo exhibition of his work, is being planned for next year. Georges Bergès Gallery was established in 2015, and it has locations in NYC’s SoHo and in Berlin, Germany. Georges Bergès also represents actor/artist Sylvester Stallone and Sheikh Rashid Al Khalifa. Biden’s signing is a major and welcome heel turn for a person who spent years in the thrall of active addiction, and whose controversial business associations with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma are now the subject of a Department of Justice investigation. Hunter Biden’s former antics have also been used as ammunition by Trump and the Republican party, who seize every opportunity they can to make Biden look bad, but it’s difficult to see how his enemies could spin Hunter’s new art career as anything other than positive.
“For years I wouldn’t call myself an artist,” Biden told the Times in February. “Now I feel comfortable saying it.” Biden also added that creating art “puts [his] energy toward something positive” and “keeps [him] away from people and places where [he] shouldn’t be.” However, if he really wants to make it in New York’s notoriously ruthless art scene, Biden should prepare himself for harsh criticism. In February, famed critic Jerry Saltz described Biden’s work as a “Generic Post Zombie Formalism illustration.”