Hunter Biden’s foray into painting received significant media attention, despite the widely held opinion that his art pieces were mediocre at best. Even so, his artwork was expected to fetch between $75,000 and half a million dollars at a highly publicized art show, figures that some critics believe were greatly exaggerated.
Notably, a Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic suggested that the artworks should not be worth more than $1,000 each, implying that the high prices were mainly attributable to Hunter’s connection to his father, President Biden. Concerns were further heightened by the former ethics chief of the Obama administration, who suggested that something seemed amiss.
Further raising suspicions were the secretive nature of the sales, with all buyers remaining confidential. House Oversight Committee Chairman, James Comer, voiced concerns over the lack of accountability and oversight regarding the high prices paid for the artworks. He wrote a letter to Hunter’s art dealer, Georges Berges, in which he questioned the motivations of the buyers, raising the possibility that they were attempting to curry favor with the Biden family, the report explains.
That buyer, Insider can reveal, is Elizabeth Hirsh Naftali, a Los Angeles real estate investor and philanthropist. Hirsh Naftali is influential in California Democratic circles and is a significant Democratic donor who has given $13,414 to the Biden campaign and $29,700 to the Democratic National Campaign Committee this year. In 2022, she hosted a fundraiser headlined by Vice President Kamala Harris.
Insider also obtained internal documents from Hunter Biden’s gallery showing that a single buyer purchased $875,000 of his art. The documents do not indicate the buyer’s identity, which is also unknown to Insider at this time.
The identities of the buyers have remained undisclosed, but a report from Business Insider suggests that the sales were indeed a means for others to gain influence. According to the report, Hunter did disclose the identities of two buyers, one of whom later received a favor from the Biden administration.
Elizabeth Hirsh Naftali was appointed by President Biden to the Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad, eight months after Hunter Biden’s first art show. It remains unclear if the appointment was made before or after the art purchase.
The White House has consistently maintained that Hunter’s business dealings are separate from the administration and that appropriate precautions have been implemented. White House spokesman Ian Sams reinforced that Hunter, as a private citizen, is entitled to pursue his career as an artist, and the White House remains uninvolved in his art sales.
However, despite these assurances, the timing and nature of the purchase continue to raise ethical questions, with some believing that the most ethically sound course of action would have been to abstain from buying the artwork altogether to avoid any real or perceived conflict of interest.