Pinkerton: Hunter Biden’s Latest Easy Money Gig Is Making ‘Art’ Every Lobbyist, Tycoon, and Tyrant ‘Would Want a Piece of’

‘Art’ That Every Lobbyist, Tycoon, and Tyrant ‘Would Want a Piece Of’

Let’s admit it: Of all the ways that the son of a U.S. president might cash in on his family connection, we had never thought of having the presidential scion declare himself to be an artist, selling his artwork for sums of five or six figures–and maybe even more.  

Yet Hunter Biden, son of you-know-who, has thought of it and is moving fast to snag some big money. A June 14 report in Artnet had the scoop on Hunter’s ambitions and seemed to repay the scoop with a flatteringly aspirational headline: “We Spoke to Hunter Biden About His New Life as a Full-Time Artist, and His Personal Quest for ‘Universal Truth’ Through Painting.”

According to the article, Hunter is planning to sell his paintings through art dealer Georges Bergès, whose eponymous gallery boasts outlets in New York City and Berlin. And the price for each piece of art? According to Artnet, somewhere between $75,000 and $500,000. Nice work if you can get it! 

Over the course of his 51 years on earth, Hunter Biden has been known for many things—and Breitbart News has closely chronicled his many errancies—but he’s never been known as an artiste. However, he’s now poised to be nouveaux riche.  

In the words of another art dealer, Alex Acevedo: “Anybody who buys [one of Hunter’s paintings] would be guaranteed instant profit.” As Acevedo explained, “He’s the president’s son. Everybody would want a piece of that.”  We might pause over those last words, which perhaps get to the heart of the matter: Everybody would want a piece of that.  

Acevedo further added: “The provenance is impeccable.’’  We can note that the fancy-French word provenance is typically applied to the artwork itself to signify whether or not the genuineness of the work is provable. And yet in this case, the provenance in question seems to refer to the artist himself; it’s all about the DNA, not the brushstrokes.   

Acevedo even suggested that the price of a single Biden painting could reach $1 million. Okay, so that’s a lot of money.   And yet for context, the federal government will spend nearly $5 trillion this year—and that’s really a lot of money.  

Given the stakes involved, what Washington, D.C., lobbyist—at least those interested in currying favor with the Biden administration—wouldn’t be well advised to own a Hunter Biden Original? And the same holds true for many others who might need Uncle Sam for something: tycoons, tyrants, and anyone else who wants a “piece”—to use Acevedo’s apt phrase—of the Biden family pie.  

Yet at the same time, some Hunter art-acquirers might be publicity-shy. For whatever reason, they might wish that their purchase of a Hunter painting remain a secret. If so, not to worry because, as Fox Business helpfully reported, buyers from the Georges Bergès Gallery can, if they wish, be kept confidential.

In other words, if you’re a millionaire or billionaire art purchaser, and you don’t want anyone to know that you’re sending money Hunter’s way, that’s okay. It will be kept anonymous. (Of course, even in a private sale, it’s quite possible that Hunter himself would know who bought his painting—and it’s possible that the son of the president might be grateful and might wish somehow to express his gratitude.)

The Road to Riches  

As we know, Hunter has rode a hard road from dismissed Navy officer, to shamed lobbyist and international financier, to drug addict with a laptop, to now artiste. And yet Hunter is doing okay, in part to his doting father and in no small part because he has had a little help from his friends. 

One such friend seems to be Zoe Kestan, who calls herself “weed slut” (not making this up). Kestan, who Artnet describes as “the lingerie entrepreneur who is better known by her Instagram handle @weed_slut_420,” was reportedly responsible for providing Hunter with “his art-world connections.”

The New York Times, the elite newspaper that is required reading for anyone in haute Biden Democratic circles, was also kind enough to give Hunter a push on the road to Easy Street in a profile on February 28, 2020. The headline set the admiring, helpful tone: “There’s a New Artist in Town. The Name Is Biden.” The Times took note of Hunter’s past tribulations, and yet it chose to view his budding art career as part of his recovery, writing of the younger Biden: ”As he looked to escape temptations, the painting became therapeutic.” Others might have been ruined for doing the same things that Hunter did, and yet in his case, the road to redemption ran through Art.  

Indeed, the Times article featured no fewer than nine photographs: one with the younger Biden and his father, and eight more of Hunter and/or his paintings and painting tools. Message: Yes, Hunter is about as connected as they come, and yet at the same time, he is a very serious artist. 

Being ever helpful to Hunter’s ambitions, the Times even quoted prominent collector Beth Rudin DeWoody, a queen of the art scene in Manhattan and Palm Beach, saying that she “loves the idea” of Hunter entering the art world, adding, “There’s probably going to be a lot of curiosity.”

Such encouragement from a deep-pocketed art collector is exactly what any aspiring artist needs. So maybe we should think of the Times and DeWoody as partners of a kind, teaming up to help on Hunter’s marketing campaign.

Hunter at work (Photo: Hunter Biden/Artnet)

So now more than a year later, it’s little wonder that Hunter’s art career is kicking off so nicely. Indeed, art dealer Bergès says that the value—or at least the price—of Hunter’s art could go way higher than the current asking numbers. After all, Bergès says, Hunter’s art has “authenticity” (now there’s a good salesman at work).

Indeed, Bergès compares Hunter’s work to that of pricey artists Lucien Freud (one of whose paintings sold in 2018 for $29 million), and Francis Bacon (one of his paintings sold in 2013 for $142 million).  

With such monster numbers dancing around, we should step back and think to ourselves: We don’t know much of anything about Hunter’s financial relationship with Bergès. For instance, we might wonder: Has any money already changed hands between Hunter and Bergès? Why exactly did Hunter sign on with the little-known Bergès, as opposed to a big-name art dealer like Christie’s or Sotheby’s? Is it because Bergès simply out-hustled those larger firms? Or might there be something more going on? Something that a larger and more scrutinized firm might not wish to be a part of?  

And come to think of it, we don’t know anything at all about Hunter’s financial relationship with anyone else in the art world—if any such financial relationships exist. As a private citizen, Hunter has no obligation to report anything to anyone, except the IRS.

Speaking of money, now might be a good time to take stock of the global art market, which last year totaled $67 billion.  Much of that money, of course, is simply froth. That is, collectors overpaying for reasons that economist Thorstein Veblen identified in his 1899 book, The Theory of the Leisure Class, the volume that gave us the memorable phrase “conspicuous consumption.”  

As Veblen wrote, “Conspicuous consumption of valuable goods is a means of reputability to the gentleman of leisure.”  To put that another way, the conspicuous consumer spends whatever he or she feels like, oftentimes just to make a point about how much money they have to spend.  

And this desire to spend leads to some bizarre bouts of price-inflation, all based on the behind-the-scenes cleverness of some art dealer. For instance, back in 2005, the 16th century Italian Renaissance painting Salvator Mundi (Savior of the World) sold for a mere $1,175.  At that time, it was thought to be a painting merely associated maybe with the great Leonardo da Vinci—its provenance, to use that fancy word, was in deep dispute.  

But then a British art dealer named Robert Simon persuaded London’t National Gallery to include the painting in its 2011 da Vinci show, thus stamping the painting as a genuine da Vinci. And at that point, the value of the painting exploded. In 2017, a buyer in Abu Dhabi paid $450 million for the work. (As an amusing aside, we can add that the buyer also has a dubious provenance. The real purchaser was believed to be Saudi crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman. In other words, maybe the painting is fake, but then maybe the buyer is fake too.)  

Still, the money that changed hands is real. The astronomical escalation in the price of Salvator Mundi in just a dozen years amounted to nearly 40,000 percent. In the cynical words of art historian Charles Hope writing in the London Review of Books, “It is hard not to be impressed by the skill with which Simon promoted his picture,” adding that the da Vinci designation seems to be “more a marketing ploy than a contribution to knowledge.”

A security personnel stands next to the alleged Leonardo da Vinci painting “Salvator Mundi” after it was unveiled at Christie’s in New York on October 10, 2017, before being auctioned. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images)

The overall point here is that the art world is a wilderness of mirrors, a plutocratic funhouse warped by millions and billions of dollars in which little is what it is purported to be. And now this is Hunter’s domain.  

Indeed, in this bizarro world, it’s impossible to pin down the value of any art; there are simply too many churning—even corrupt—variables to track. In the words of economist Allison Schrager, “The value of contemporary art isn’t based on fundamentals.” She added, “especially with emerging artists . . . art has no objective intrinsic value.” 

So given the lack of “fundamentals” and “objective intrinsic value,” who sets the price? Answer: dealers wheel and deal. As Schrager puts it, “Dealers are manipulating prices in a market where they have a financial interest.”

Georges Bergès is one such dealer. And since he’s a private citizen, we have no idea what marketing and financial strategies he might be using and with whom he’s using them. For all the reasons we have seen, the price of art is infinitely variable. It’s hard for anyone to determine a “fair price.”

This murkiness makes the art market a natural magnet for those who might wish to squander money–or to launder money. A bipartisan report last year from the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations concluded that Russian oligarchs have laundered at least $91 million and perhaps much more via the art world. “Given the intrinsic secrecy of the art industry,” the report found, “it is clear that change is needed in this multi-billion dollar industry.”

In the meantime, we have no idea what marketing and financial strategies Hunter might be using. We shouldn’t forget, after all, that it wasn’t that long ago that the younger Biden was lobbying, or investing, or something, for and with Ukrainian oligarchs and Chinese moguls.

Indeed, Hunter’s ability to be always in proximity to big money has drawn the attention of Peter Schweizer, president of the Government Accountability Institute (GAI) and a Breitbart senior contributor. Speaking to Breitbart’s Hannah Bleau, Schweizer said, “Hunter Biden was repeatedly hired and given deals by foreign entities that he was clearly not qualified for in the hopes of getting favors from his father.” And so, Schweizer continued, “It is not a stretch to believe that foreign entities will pay for or commission his works of art at inflated prices to do the same.”

So yes, while the world art market is currently estimated to be about $67 billion a year, it could always get bigger. Bigger, that is, if Hunter’s paintings proved to be really popular in cities such as Moscow, K’yiv, or Beijing.

Hunter Biden, private citizen and artist that he is, has no legal obligation to tell us a thing about how he’s making money. On the other hand, his loving father, Joe Biden, 46th president of the United States, has plenty of legal and ethical obligations to the public. And so he and his White House will have to decide how they’re going to deal with Hunter, who looks increasingly like a billion-dollar loophole.

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Catholic Democrats Appeal to ‘Primacy of Conscience’ in Abortion Support

Sixty Catholic Democrats in Congress have written an open “Statement of Principles” explaining why the Catholic Church should not deny Holy Communion to professed Catholics who promote abortion.

The open letter was published online on June 18 to coincide with the June meeting of the U.S. bishops, who discussed, among other things, the question of “Eucharistic coherence” and conditions under which a Catholic should not present himself to receive Holy Communion.

“As legislators in the U.S. House of Representatives, we work every day to advance respect for life and the dignity of every human being,” the letter states.

The representatives declare that “the weaponization of the Eucharist to Democratic lawmakers for their support of a woman’s safe and legal access to abortion is contradictory.”

The Catholic Church has consistently taught that taking an innocent human life in abortion is always gravely evil.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person — among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.”

Abortion “is gravely contrary to the moral law,” the Catechism declares, and, therefore, a person who procures an abortion incurs ex-communication from the Church “by the very commission of the offense.”

For his part, Saint John Paul II wrote that “direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, always constitutes a grave moral disorder, since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being.”

The U.S. bishops’ Faithful Citizenship letter, a “teaching document on the political responsibility of Catholics,” underscores the evil of abortion, suggesting it is not “just another issue” to be weighed against prudential matters such as immigration laws or a carbon tax, but stands out as a singularly weighty moral issue.

“The threat of abortion remains our preeminent priority because it directly attacks life itself, because it takes place within the sanctuary of the family, and because of the number of lives destroyed,” the bishops declared in the letter.

In their June 18 letter, the Catholic Democrats insisted they “seek the Church’s guidance and assistance but believe also in the primacy of conscience.”

“In recognizing the Church’s role in providing moral leadership, we acknowledge and accept the tension that comes with being in disagreement with the Church in some areas,” they declare.

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Previously Deported Sex Offenders Arrested After Crossing into Multiple Border Sectors

Border Patrol agents in multiple southern border sectors arrested several previously deported sex offenders after they illegally crossed the border from Mexico into the United States.

Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents detected a group of three migrants on Tuesday evening after they illegally crossed the border from Mexico into Arizona, according to information provided by Border Patrol officials in Arizona. The agents arrived at the location and arrested the three migrants.

The agents transported the migrants to a processing center where a records check identified one of the men, 37-year-old Juan Nunez-Tavarez, as a four-time previously deported sex offender.

A Texas court convicted the Mexican national for indecency with a child: sexual contact, officials stated. The court sentenced him to two years in state prison.

The agents arrested Nunez-Tavarez for illegal re-entry after removal as a sex offender. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in federal prison.

In Southeast Texas, McAllen Station Border Patrol agents apprehended a group of 53 migrants who illegally crossed the border near Hidalgo, Texas, on June 16. The agents transported the group to the station for processing.

A biometric background investigation identified one of the men embedded in the group, a Salvadoran national, as an MS-13 gang member.

A short time later, McAllen Station agents apprehended another group of 17 migrants in a nearby section of the border. During processing, agents identified one of the men as a Salvadoran citizen. Criminal history records revealed the man received a conviction in New York for Rape-3rd Degree, officials reported. ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations agents deported the man following his six-year prison sentence.

El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents also identified a previously deported sex offender attempting to illegally re-enter the United States on the same day.

At approximately 9 a.m., Calexico Border Patrol Station agents encountered a man who illegally crossed the border one mile west of the Calexico Port of Entry. The agents transported him to the station where they identified him as a previously deported sex offender.

Agents frequently find an arrest previously deported sex offenders and other criminal aliens.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

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Shocking Revelation About Trump Sends Democrats into a Tizzy

Shocking Revelation About Trump Sends Democrats into a Tizzy

A top conservative operative has dropped a shocking revelation about Donald Trump that is definitely going to drive the left crazy.

In an interview with Newsmax host John Bachman, Chairman of the American Conservative Union Matt Schlapp said that there is “buzz out there” around the idea that former President Donald Trump could be “crowned” speaker of the House if the GOP retakes the House of Representatives in 2022.

At the start of the interview, Bachman said he believes that “the road to 2022” begins in Ohio, where Trump is planning to hold his first post-presidential rally on June 26.

“I think the road to 2022 really starts in Columbus, Ohio, because we’re going to see one of the kind of the classic Trump rallies. I imagine there’s going to be a massive crowd there. Trump’s also going to go to Tampa, Florida, and the border,” the Newsmax host said.

Bachman then asked Schlapp if he’s excited for the return of MAGA rallies. Schlapp responded by making the bombshell Speaker of the House statement.

Listen:

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“His travel is coinciding with these different congressional races. There’s a lot of buzz out there that Donald Trump would even be potentially someone they crown as the speaker of the House if the Republicans get the majority back,” Schlapp said, cautioning that this isn’t a done deal.

“He’s going to be a big boost to the elephant’s chances to do that. I think there’s a high probability they take back the House. These rallies are going to be a real balm, a real sense of comfort for 75 million Americans who feel canceled, feel like he’s been canceled,” he continued.

“And so I feel like these rallies are going to have a tremendous injection of positive energy into our politics,” Schlapp added. “And Nancy Pelosi better beware, because they have embraced these radical concepts. It’s just not where America is.”

It’s obvious to everyone except the Democrats that their insanely radical policies are hurting the party’s chances of maintaining power. Joe Biden’s disapproval rating reflects this, as it jumped from 36 percent in late January to a record 43.4 percent as of June 16, according to RealClearPolitics.

Average Americans from both parties are raising concerns about inflation, higher taxes, the crisis at the southern border, and rampant crime.

There is also growing concern about Democrats’ adoption of nanny-state policies like the proposed menthol cigarette ban. Critics of the plan argue that it will lead to more law enforcement activities against blacks, and will just lead to an underground market for menthols.

Of all of these issues, Schlapp believes that illegal immigration is the one that will hurt the Democrats the most.

“This issue really impacts those who live around the border, especially in Texas, which has the biggest bulk of the border. And it affects minority communities. I think the idea of an orderly immigration, legal immigration system, is very popular with people who live in these border states and the minority communities around the border,” he said.

“I think what you’re going to see is a continual drive of people of color to the Republican Party because they’re for common sense ideas like an orderly immigration system, a closed border. They’re for families, they’re for small businesses, they’re for faith,” Schlapp added.

He’s right, as studies have shown that most Americans are not “progressives,” they’re closer to the center, meaning that they are less likely to support the left’s increasingly radical agenda.

“[T]he Democrat Party’s embrace of radicalism is not gonna work well with these voters. You’ll see our numbers go up in these communities,” Schlapp predicted.

Biden-regret is already popping up among more rational Democrats, and it’s only going to get worse. The left needs to take a few steps back if they want to keep winning elections. Of course, they are too busy listening to the radicals in their party to notice that they are losing the confidence of many of their voters.

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Exclusive: Joni Ernst Joins Watchdog Group to End U.S. Funding of ‘Cruel and Dangerous Animal Experiments’ in Wuhan Lab

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Justin Goodman of the White Coat Waste Project joined Thursday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow to discuss U.S. taxpayer funding of virology research involving animal experimentation at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Ernst addressed her partnership with the White Coat Waste Project.

The White Coat waste project is really targeting the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which we know to be at the center of the COVID-19 pandemic,” she remarked. “U.S. Taxpayer money has been funneled to the Wuhan Institute through a nonprofit known as EcoHealth Alliance to fund dangerous coronavirus studies.”

She added, “What we are working on is blocking funding from ever going to the Wuhan Institute of Virology ever again, but then, also holding those accountable for not following federal guidelines, federal laws, and being transparent in how those grant dollars were spent.”

Goodman described animal experimentation in the Wuhan lab as “cruel” and “dangerous.”

“The White Coat Waste Project is a taxpayer watchdog group,” he stated, “and we’re primarily concerned with the $20 billion a year that the federal government wastes on cruel and dangerous animal experiments, like the stuff we’re talking about in Wuhan.”

He continued, “Last April, we were the first to discover and connect the dots between what was happening at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the fact that they were receiving something from the NIH [National Institutes of Health] to the tune of at least $600,000, and we know now that was likely going to be closer for $1.5 million had Donald Trump not cut the grant.”

“We’ve been working to not only expose the connection between the NIH and the Wuhan Institute of Virology, but also support Sen. Ernst’s work to cut the funding,” he added.

EcoHealth Alliance, ostensibly a nonprofit organization, was used as an intermediary for U.S. taxpayer money to China’s virology laboratory in Wuhan, Goodman noted. He observed how such layered funding diminishes transparency of how government funds are dispensed. 

EcoHealth Alliance’s role as a go-between for taxpayer money sent to a laboratory run by the Chinese Communist Party made it “so damn hard to figure out that [taxpayer] money was going to Wuhan,” Goodman shared.

Goodman added, “EcoHealth Alliance [is] run by a scam artist named Peter Daszak.”

He explained. “[EcoHealth Alliance] were breaking federal law by not properly disclosing that they were sending money to this lab or how much money they were sending there, both in public statements — which is required by law; they have to say that they’re funding this lab and how much money they’re sending there — and they were not reporting to the NIH that they were sending these grants to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which brings a second law.”

Breitbart News Daily broadcasts live on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.

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