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Commentary

Hunter Biden Apparently Survives Cancellation from Art Gallery After N-Word Controversy

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We can thank heavens there’s at least one individual out there who’s cancellation-proof: Hunter Biden.

The president’s son, you may have heard over the past few months, is looking to enter the art world. This world is a liberal elitist milieu if there ever was one, and known for being extremely judgmental. You also may have heard over the past few weeks that Hunter is purportedly an aficionado of using the N-word in iMessage conversations with his lawyer.

But fear not. If you were hoping to catch his oeuvre during his first exhibition, slated to start this fall, you’ll still be able to do it. In a world where a 27-year-old journalist gets pushed out of her position as an editor at Teen Vogue because she’d tweeted some bigoted things when she was 17, a 51-year-old man who used one of the worst racial slurs in the book multiple times in conversation with his white lawyer when he was in his late 40s will get to keep his art exhibition. That’s because apparently, actions don’t have consequences in Hunter Biden’s world.

The Washington Examiner reported Tuesday that the New York exhibition, the result of a partnership between Biden and SoHo art dealer Georges Berges, will go on as scheduled later this year. That much seems evident based on the fact that the Berges gallery did not respond to the outlet’s request for comment, as well as a lack of announcement regarding a cancellation from the gallery. Thus, it appears that the pitchfork-toting cancellation mob did not convince the gallery owner to drop the new artist.

Biden calls himself a full-time artist now (there’s a barnyard epithet involving cow manure I feel should go in between “full-time” and “artist,” but darned if I can remember it), and he and Berges are hoping to fetch between $75,000 and $500,000 per work, according to Artnet. Those figures could generously be described as “aspirational” given the general consensus around the quality of Biden’s work, which we’ll get to later.

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Right now, however, there’s the question of his text messages with his lawyer — the latest development to come out of Hunter Biden’s laptop from Hades.

In text messages from December 2018, originally published last week by the U.K. Daily Mail, Biden asked his very white corporate lawyer George Mesires, “How much money do I owe you.”

He then texted, “Becaause [sic] n**** you better not be charging me Hennessy rates.”

In another series of messages from a month later, Hunter told his lawyer, “I only love you because you’re black.”

Should Hunter Biden's exhibition be canceled?

When Mesires responded that it was “annoying when you interject with frivolity,” Hunter responded, “true dat n****.”

The media has been largely silent on the matter, but the media isn’t an art gallery owner — someone who might feel a bit of blowback when Hunter’s latest controversy involves the N-word.

It’s worth noting that Artnet’s article about the exhibit, which included quotes from Berges, was posted Monday, a few days after the Hunter Biden N-word controversy broke, thus suggesting that the controversy would not result in Biden being canceled. The art dealer told Artnet that Hunter’s work has an “authenticity” to it he loves “personally.”

“A lot of the issues that are thrown at Hunter is what makes him produce really great work,” Berges said.

Never mind that a Trump kid or a conservative wouldn’t have gotten the exhibition in the first place — and if they did get it, a scandal one-tenth as bad as this would have killed the exhibition. It’s a win for all, I think, that cancel culture seems to have passed by Hunter Biden. After all, who wouldn’t want to see his paintings?

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Other than art critics, that is.

Last year, then-Artsy editor Scott Indrisek told Artnet that “the process here seems more important than the finished product” in regard to Hunter’s paintings.

“I guess it’s important that wounded men of a certain age and privileged background have the opportunity to find themselves creatively … it’s just too bad that everyone else is expected to pay attention,” he added.

Opinions haven’t changed over the past year. In March, the Beltway-centric publication Washingtonian surveyed gallerists and art experts in the nation’s capital, who were similarly unimpressed when shown Hunter’s work.

“I don’t know if it would be enough for me to even go on a studio visit,” art consultant Siobhan Gavagan of Long View Gallery told the publication. “But, you know, good for him.”

“There’s nothing unique about his work, and I have far better abstract painters,” said Margery Goldberg, owner Shepherd Park’s Zenith Gallery. “The only reason in the entire world this guy [might get] a show at a New York City gallery is because he is the president’s son. They wouldn’t have touched him with a 10-foot pole.”

“I have to be honest and say it’s nice as decoration that would work well in a hotel,” American University art professor Don Kimes said. “It’s a Bed, Bath & Beyond kind of thing.”

Those are some expensive Bed, Bath & Beyond pieces.

In a February 2020 New York Times feature on his artistry, Hunter said painting “is literally keeping me sane.”

“For years I wouldn’t call myself an artist. Now I feel comfortable saying it,” Biden told The Times.

Having seen his work and read the reactions to it, I wouldn’t necessarily feel comfortable saying that, if I were him. But then again, Hunter Biden apparently feels comfortable saying quite a few things he shouldn’t, if one is to judge by his conversations with his lawyer. Neither fact is going to get in the way of Hunter’s art exhibition, however, at least for the moment.

As for those asking prices, they might meet a little more resistance.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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