May 22, 2024


Interior Of The Road

Hunter Biden’s gallery owner reveals how he discovered his art

The New York gallery owner who discovered the artist hiding under Hunter Biden‘s troubled and controversial exterior admitted he was skeptical before their first meeting nearly three years ago.

“A lot of people say they can paint and do sculpture, but what I was concerned about was whether Hunter’s work would be authentic,” said Georges Berges, who owns eponymous galleries in SoHo and Berlin.

He told The Post he was introduced to Biden by a “serious” Los Angeles-based collector who had been impressed with the oeuvre of the scandal-scarred president’s son.

“What interested me was whether the work was going to be honest — something that was really true to him and his journey,” Berges said. “But as soon as I met him, I had a real connection with him and I felt I could work with him.”

Berges, 45, was excited by what he saw in Biden’s home studio: ethereal pastels of raindrops and other natural elements, most of them done on Japanese Yupo paper using ink blown through a straw.

Hunter Biden’s art is finally going up for sale at an NYC gallery
Hunter Biden’s art is finally going up for sale at an NYC gallery, with the most expensive pieces expected to top $500,000, and buyers promised anonymity.

Berges, who represents a roster of international artists, spent the next few years helping Biden, who is self-taught, take his abstract expressionist painting from a hobby that occupied “about 20 percent of his time” to a full-time job that saw Biden spend the last two and a half years holed up in his home studio on a hillside in Los Angeles following a “regimented” routine.

Now President Biden’s son is putting the finishing touches on the 15 paintings that will comprise his first solo exhibition, which is scheduled to open in October at Berges’ SoHo gallery, with a private viewing for VIP collectors in Los Angeles in September.

“Everyone thinks that Hunter just landed on the art scene but this has been years in the making,” said Berges, who nurtured the work over frequent visits to Biden’s studio and daily phone conversations. “I helped him create a daily structure, and have kept it under wraps over the sensitivity of who he is, especially while his father was running for president.”

Hunter Biden painting
President Biden’s son is putting the finishing touches on the 15 paintings that will comprise his first solo exhibition.
Hunter Biden painting
Berges said that Hunter Biden’s work has a “redemptive quality.”

But when news broke last year that the 51-year-old former lobbyist and lawyer who has been at the center of bombshell scandals, including alleged corruption in his business dealings with China and Ukraine, Berges said he has been inundated with calls from collectors eager to purchase the art.

Prices will range from $75,000 for works on paper to $500,000 for the larger canvases. Among the works is an abstract self-portrait in silhouette of a sunglass-clad Biden, incorporating a photograph and prose poem that ties in with Biden’s recently published, drug and sex-fueled memoir, “Beautiful Things.”

Hunter Biden painting
Berges said he has been inundated with calls from collectors eager to buy Biden’s art.

Although some critics worry that buying art at high prices from Biden could present an ethics challenge and be seen as a way to curry favor with President Biden, Berges dismissed the claims.

As with all art purchases, buyers are guaranteed anonymity by the dealer unless they decide to make themselves known to the public. Political observers point out that the art world’s rules that cloak the identities of buyers could contribute to perceptions of pay to play.

“This has nothing to do with currying favor with anyone,” said Berges. “I started working with Hunter even before his father had decided to run for president. This is a life-long commitment that will outlast his father’s presidency.”

Berges refused to discuss how much of a percentage his gallery will take on the sale of each painting. “That’s confidential,” he said.

The first reviews have been encouraging. One art expert called Biden’s work “pretty strong.” Mark Tribe, the chair of the MFA Fine Arts Department at New York’s School of Visual Arts told The Post last week that “the colors and compelling organic forms — it’s the kind of organic abstraction that I find easy on the eyes and provokes your curiosity.”

Hunter Biden painting
One art expert called Biden’s work “pretty strong.”

For Berges, Biden’s work has a “redemptive quality” that encompasses many of his own personal struggles — the deaths of his mother and older brother Beau, and his battle with alcohol and drugs. He said he has only known a sober Biden, dedicated to his art work. The paintings reflect “everything of who he is, not what he has been characterized of being,” said Berges.

“I always tell him when people ask how long it took to make a particular painting, you tell them 51 years,” he said. “Your whole life.”