Georges Bergès Gallery pens ethics agreement with White House to keep art sales anonymous

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Georges Berges

An exhibition of paintings by Hunter Biden is scheduled for this fall at the Georges Bergès Gallery in New York. According to The New York Times Washington Post, the gallery worked with the White House to sign an agreement under which all buyers of his work will be kept in strict confidentiality, even from Biden himself.

The ethics agreement to maintain the anonymity of names is theoretically intended to prevent interested parties from buying paintings in order to gain the favor of the artist’s father, US President Joseph Biden.

Last month, Bergès, who lists Hunter Biden on his gallery listing of “a lawyer by profession who now devotes his life to creativity,” told Artnet News that prices for Biden’s paintings range from $ 75,000 for works on paper to 500,000 dollars for those on canvas.

Hunter Biden, Untitled #2 (2020), mixed media on pape

Though achieving a solo show in New York may pale in comparison to the family nepotism of the previous administration. It may be recalled that US President Trump hired his daughter and son-in-law as top White House advisers and appointed his two sons to lead his eponymous business while he was in office. Unsurprisingly, some of the rages are coming from the right-wing media. Fox News, for example, said the deal was “a secret White House art scheme by Hunter Biden.”

Richard Painter, who was President George W. Bush’s chief ethics lawyer from 2005 to 2007, says none of this comes close to the scale of the Trump problem. He also added that they should do everything possible not to give the impression that people are buying art just to win the favor of the Biden family. To summarize, Painter added that “this is all a really bad idea.”

A White House spokesman said in a statement that the USA president had set the highest ethical norms and standards. His family’s commitment to such rigorous processes is a shining example.

Georges Bergès Discusses Representing Hunter Biden and His Own Career in Art

Hunter Biden

Georges Bergès is a private art dealer. He prefers working with collectors and artists he likes personally, not just professionally. After studying clinical psychology before fully immersing himself in the art world with the opening of a gallery in Soho about seven years ago, Bergès is as interested in the people behind the paintings and sculptures he sells as in the works themselves.

In recent days, his connection with one of 17 artists he represents, Hunter Biden, has attracted attention. The White House approved an arrangement for the president’s son to sell his art without knowing the identity of the buyers, to avoid any potential ethical issues.

Critics have disputed this scheme, questioning the possibility of buying art in exchange for services. Biden’s artistic career, known as a lawyer and lobbyist, was news to many. But Bergès said they worked together for three years and insisted on the confidentiality of the exchange.

Under the Trump administration, the US Department of Justice investigated Biden’s finances and previous business relationships. Any criminal activity hasn`t been proven, and Biden and his father have repeatedly denied wrongdoing.

In an interview on Monday, Berges discussed his relationship with Hunter Biden, calling him a “great artist” and praising his sobriety several times. Bergès said he opened his own Georges Bergès Gallery after years of working with artists on pop-ups to have a longer-lasting impact on their careers. Bergès aimed to create a gallery based on interpersonal experience.

The late art dealer Leo Castelli is known for his human contact with artists and his influence on the art world. He was the idol of Berges. Georges Bergès Gallery at 462 Broadway is a block from where Castelli had his one.

Examining the places, Bergès did not pay attention to the fact that Soho had become more a place for shopping for famous brands than for walking through galleries. The art history of the area still resonated with him. Traveling often, Bergès said he knew he would always look outside, so his New York address mattered less to him than what others told him about what the market dictated.

Interestingly, during his student years, art was never in the spotlight, although his research in clinical psychology at one point focused on art therapy. After graduating from the University of California at Santa Cruz and before going to graduate school at Seton Hall University, Berges spent several years in Europe working with artists and selling art.

His roster includes 17 artists, including:

  • Laddy John Dill;
  •  Wonsuk Kim;
  •  Hisako Kobayashi;
  •  Rashid Al Khalifa.

This fall, the Georges Bergès Gallery marquee will feature Todd Williamson, a former Venice Biennale and Pollock Prize, winner. He said his choice of Williamson over Biden for the big fall show was merit-based.

The value of the relationship is important, which, according to Berges, has largely been lost as the art world has become more corporate. This management style and business approach “has become a huge force for me all over the world because my collectors know me,” he said.

Hunter Biden’s “St. Thomas,” a 2020 mixed media on canvas that is 36” x 24”

“They also know which artists I work with, how I represent them, how I protect them and how I believe in them. I wouldn’t sell Hunter Biden’s work or anyone else for $ 50,000 or $ 500,000 to any of my collectors if I didn’t believe it was worth it. I am as devoted to my collector as I am to my artist. “

These collectors will soon have a third Georges Berges gallery to explore when they bow down in Los Angeles this fall. The Biden exhibition will be previewed in September in California before opening in October in New York.

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