Hunter Biden is painting his truth

Where is this Biden Hunter keep the light, up here, minutes up the hill outside Los Angeles, behind the gate and the former Secret Service, past the big, white house he’s renting with his wife and young son, a few steps away. away from everything and everyone. It lies on the floor of the garage where he spends most of his day, bending over the hundreds of paintings he has created, leaving his palms and fingernails, Chelsea jeans and shoes, and the silver bracelet on wrist dyed blue and red and yellow and green. For the last few days, he’s focused his attention on a 26m-long piece of Japanese Yupo paper, a non-absorbent synthetic that behaves more like a plastic than a sheet of paper or a cloth. He usually starts by tinkering with colors, in this case, an orange and yellow almost DayGlo so bright they can only last for a day at dawn. He uses alcohol ink – a strange medium, he joked, for a recovering addict who has publicly documented his struggles with drugs and alcohol, both by choice and because of the near-daily attack by his father’s opponents and the right-wing media. But he chose alcohol ink because he could craft it forever. He can change the whole thing right now if he wants to. He can wash it off with more alcohol ink, and when he’s done, he might as well rinse it off. However, for this painting, he allowed the ink to develop and layer more layers on top. This makes for hours on end, standing on top of the paper like Jackson Pollock to keep the ink from flowing and because it gives him a different perspective than if he were hanging something vertically. Sometimes he pours ink directly onto the paper, then uses a sponge brush to blend the ink around. Other times, he sprayed it or manipulated it by blowing through a straw.

On the concrete, next to the president’s son, the painting glows. “Almost all great art, and I wouldn’t say my art is great, even though it’s great for me, comes from tension,” he said, crossing his arms in front of the piece. under foot. “It comes from a kind of innate anxiety that you need to express, and it was never repressive for me. It’s not a treatment in the sense that I don’t think about it, or it’s a way to run away from it. That’s one way to jump into it. The gift they gave me,” he said, referring to the right-wingers obsessed with him, “is their relentless pursuit. It keeps me moving. It is the need to express yourself. It’s like the tension that we need to be as creative and expressive as possible, to put our best into it. I mean, what an incredible gift. ”

Hunter sees his job as creating a universal image that might look like what you see under a microscope, or from a satellite millions of light-years away, unlike the way he himself. we are observed. He’s been tested and scrutinized for what it feels like forever, in pictures as a grieving child, on television screens with his father at the swearing-in ceremony, and on tabloid pages of his addiction. There have been hearings on Capitol Hill, and his name has flown away from the White House, coming from its former and current occupants, if in wildly different tones. All of you can possibly recount his misfortunes, griefs, and mistakes by heart, because they have been shared relentlessly, publicly lived, and for the most part, fairly addressed by Hunter himself. radical in the past year: Got his board seat at Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company owned by a financier mired in corruption charges, and his investment in a private equity firm with ties to the Chinese government; his addictions and his relationships after his divorce from his first wife; allegedly stolen laptop Rudy Giuliani literally completely melted. Donald TrumpThe first impeachment trial focused on whether the then-president abused his power by pressuring the Ukrainian government to pick up dirt on Biden’s youngest son. Joe Bidenof the campaign. Hunter Biden told it all, in his own words and in his own words, in a memoir released this past spring, less than three months after his father took office. And now some of it, intentionally or otherwise, is showing up in his artwork, which he’s just showing publicly for the first time.

It is easy to envision a scenario in which Hunter did not write the book and publish it so early in his father’s administration. The same goes for expressing your art. To be sure, it will reduce both the number of inquiries the White House press secretary receives about conflicts of interest and the volume of New York Post front page with his photo all over them. But there is no such thing as a private Biden, not in 2021 anyway, but probably never in modern politics. There’s certainly no version where the Biden Hunters could or wanted to plunge into the hills. So here he is, speaking out loud, writing stories, painting pictures, choosing day after day not to wash it all away with alcohol ink.

Georges Berges, The exhibitor at a Hunter Biden show, titled “The Journey Home,” in New York and Los Angeles, had to hire a private security team after he received death threats and roommates. His gallery was vandalized during the summer. “It was crazier than I could ever have imagined,” he told me. “Everyone has lost their minds.”

If those aren’t threats, it’s the paparazzi tracking Hunter on his way to the galleries, just like they did. Paris Hilton or Lindsay Lohan stepped out of a nightclub in the early 2000s. In October, when he arrived in New York to open his show at a two-story space in SoHo, they were there, waiting outside the showroom. display, all day and most of the night. They also waited outside his hotel. (He watched Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Schumer, and Emily Blunt at the hotel for lunch and assumed the paparazzi were there with them, but the trio left without fanfare, while the photographers were still waiting for him and shouting questions about laptop when he leaves for coffee with his daughter and son at the end of the day. .)

Bergès sneaked up on some big-name collectors and art-world friends who wanted to see the New York exhibit – but weren’t allowed to take pictures – after dark, sending staff home and leaving the lights dim for the bugs to snap back. home. He will not name. “If I say anybody, suddenly the right-wing press will follow it, and I will consider these people a dissident,” he told me.

People appear regardless, private and different. In early October, about 200 people presented proof of vaccinations to enter Milk Studios in LA to see the show, including the city’s mayor and President Biden’s nominee to serve as US ambassador to India. , Eric Garcetti, Moby, former mayor of Stockton Michael Tubbs, Leonard Rays, and Shepard Fairey, artist best known for the iconic “Hope” posters used during the Obama campaign. About 95% of the people in the room were people he knew, Hunter told me that night. One hundred percent of them are people who have a degree of separation from him. Many of them have the last name Biden, including his daughter and sister. Ashley and many aunts, uncles, cousins. Through the crowd, waiters pass trays of Champagne and sushi, as a videographer gathers B-roll and a violinist plays in front of projected images of him and the artwork in progress. be done.

The artwork itself is saturated with colors: Malibu blue, rust, water and green, and a common thread of gold leaf throughout. In a review of his paintings for Whitehot, the famous critic Donald Kuspit wrote that “Biden plays the color keyboard as skillfully as [Kandinsky] His abstract music is different, however, for it has a more urgent sense of purpose. Hunter said he was influenced by lectures by Joseph Campbell, in which the famous professor talked about sharing a common myth, with symbols repeating across civilizations, across ages, between cultures That’s why, although there are different types of work on the show — from more abstract paintings set over the pictures he’s taken around Los Angeles to pieces with thousands of dots or meticulously painted blocks of color — you can see the repetition of some symbols: snakes, birds, a lone male silhouette. Some passages quote philosophers – unsurprisingly, because on most of the days he paints in the garage, Hunter listens to philosophy podcasts. Fairey, the artist, told me after the show that the works are “graphic and painterly at the same time, ” and they are really solid, especially for a novice: “There are a lot of artists who have been working for decades whose work I like less than what I am. saw at the Hunter Biden show. ” Also The New York Post managed to praise him. The New York Times not cruel. “They have the general smoothness of art you might find in a luxury hotel room, or the closing articles of a first edition,” said a review of the show in New York. “Certainly they display a command of the fluid medium that reflects the seriousness of the purpose, even if you forget them days or minutes later.”

In the way the works are painted and the way they are hung, they appear as if they are backlit even though they are not. They look nimble from the inside. So does Hunter, in an unbuttoned denim shirt and jeans, at the center of it all. Everyone there – his daughter, his friends – kept asking him if he was nervous leading up to the event; they wait for a panic that never comes. Singer Moby told me after the event, “Everybody I know, when they have a public performance, especially if a lot of people pay attention to it. He and Hunter were best friends for many years. “The number of times I go with my friends who are painters to open the door, and before the show, they gobble up Xanax and beta-blockers and drink vodka just to stop the anxiety from melting their brains. . And so I walked in and I figured, Uh-oh, Hunter is going to be a nerve wreck. So I walked up to him, asked: ‘Are you okay?’ But he is very calm. Work has a lightness to it, a sweetness to it. So is he. He’s the only artist I know who on his opening night really seemed happy.” Hunter Biden is painting his truth


Aila Slisco is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Aila Slisco joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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