Gallerist says Hunter Biden’s art openings will be by ‘invitation only’ and defends the $500K price tag because it signifies his ‘heroic journey’ – despite auctioneer’s claim there has been ‘NO discussion in the market’
- Georges Bergès will represent Hunter Biden in his art sales through the Georges Bergès Gallery, after invitation-only exhibitions in New York and Los Angeles
- He said the events will be attended by Hunter and limited to friends and family
- The paintings are expected to sell for $75,000 to $500,000
- Top players in the art world have reacted to the price tags with raised eyebrows
- The chief of a prestigious auction house said there’s ‘no discussion’ of Hunter
- Bergès said the prices were set because of the emotion Hunter’s work evokes
Georges Bergès, owner of Georges Bergès Gallery, said Hunter Biden’s ‘heroic journey’ is reflected in his artworks
Georges Bergès, the gallerist representing Hunter Biden as he dips into the professional art world, is defending the hefty price tag set for some of the president’s son’s pieces as top figures in the art world shrug off his debut.
‘I saw a lot of the positive qualities that have defined his life in his art – the heroic journey that comes from stumbling and falling and then rising up,’ Bergès said in an interview published Friday. ‘His art is full of hope.’
That hope comes at a cost – the works will be sold at prices ranging from $75,000 to $500,000 for larger pieces. The sales will occur ‘anonymously’ after exhibitions in Los Angeles and at Georges Bergès Gallery in New York City‘s trendy SoHo neighborhood – both attended by Hunter.
Bergès confirmed to the New York Times that those events will be invitation-only and ‘limited to friends and family.’
He added that no transactions will be discussed at either showing and that they will be handled at ‘other times.’
But even the prospect of paying half a million dollars for a new artist is surprising some more established figures on the art scene.
The gallery’s website praises Hunter’s art as ‘powerful and impactful’
‘I don’t think there has been any discussion in the market at all about Hunter Biden,’ Edward Dolman, who heads the prestigious Phillips auction house, said, adding that Hunter ‘doesn’t seem to be on the radar of any collectors or market makers or specialists I’ve been speaking to.’
He acknowledged that celebrity status does add some value, but in the end the quality weighs more on pricing.
One New York art adviser said fanfare around Hunter’s debut is ‘insulting’ because it makes it seem like ‘anyone could do it.’
Hunter’s New York exhibition will be at the Georges Bergès Gallery in New York’s trendy SoHo neighborhood
A fellow NYC-based gallerist called Hunter’s expensive valuations an ‘eyebrow raiser.’
She said even some professional artists she retains ‘might not sell that much in dollar terms’ over the course of a decade.
Bergès defended his generous valuations by saying price can’t be the only thing determining an artist’s value.
‘I believe Hunter’s art is special. It has a profound energy that for me brings hope, and assurances for a better future, and I ask myself, how much is that worth to you?’ he said.
Bergès said Hunter’s works have a ‘profound energy’ to justify the thousands of dollars he’s looking to charge for them
Speaking to art podcast Nota Bene at the end of July, Hunter modestly said he would ‘be amazed if my art had sold for $10.’
A White House spokesperson also told the outlet that neither Joe Biden nor Dr. Jill Biden will be in attendance, though the first lady has one of Hunter’s pieces in her office.
Ethics concerns over whether prospective buyers would pay half a million just to gain access to the White House have plagued the 51-year-old recovering drug addict’s artistic debut.
In response the White House has set guidelines that mandate Hunter and members of his father’s administration will have no idea who is buying the works and for how much.
The gallery has also agreed to reject any offers that seem suspiciously high.