“If I were going to hatch a plan, it certainly wouldn’t be to make paintings,” Biden said, given how intensely personal his artwork is to him.
“I could just stay in my studio and paint for myself — and I ultimately do do that — but it’s kind of exciting to know that there’s an audience, and for that audience to be able to have its own interpretation of what that painting means to them,” he said.
Several art critics recently told West Wing Playbook said that the value of the art is inextricably tied to the younger Biden’s surname, a point that Hunter Biden said he does not dispute.
“It’s been the unfair advantage of my whole life,” he said the episode released Thursday. “It’s a hell of a lot easier to get noticed, not only by the cop who pulls you over for speeding but also by the school or whatever the endeavor may be.”
He said that notoriety has only been compounded by the attention generated by his well known struggles with substance abuse, and his business dealings that drew attention from conservative media outlets during the 2020 presidential campaign.
“I think I am the most famous artist in the MAGA world,” Biden joked.
The Biden administration has worked to allay fears that the art exhibition risks undue political influence and said there’s an agreement with the George Bergès Gallery to shield the buyer’s identity from the president and his son, as well as the White House and the general public.
For his part, the younger Biden said he had no say in determining the value of his art and noted that the market can be “completely subjective, and completely arbitrary at times, and has sometimes nothing to do with anything at the moment.”
“I never said my art was gonna cost what it was gonna cost, or how much it was gonna be priced at. I’d be amazed if my art had sold for $10.”
Biden, who has insisted he is not a dilettante, also acknowledged that while his family name can land him opportunities, there’s a limit.
“If you don’t come with the goods it can be really, really a horrible experience,” he said. “So I don’t do this lightly, and I don’t do it without the knowledge that there’s so many incredible artist that never get the chance to find a gallery or share their art with the wider world.”