Amid the ongoing controversy of first-time artist Hunter Biden potentially selling paintings for as much as $500,000 with Georges Bergès Gallery, the gallerist's deep ties to China have resurfaced.
Bergès not only told Resident in 2015 his "plan is to be the lead guy in China," but he told Quest magazine in 2014 he traveled to China "three or four times a year" and he had a "solid group of about 25 collectors, most of them overseas." That was seven years ago.
The White House had claimed Hunter Biden and President Joe Biden's administration would be left in the dark about the anonymous bidders for the artwork in sales this September. They have offered assurances that safeguards are in place to prevent the appeance of access to the White House and any influence over policy being purchased. .
But it was reported last week, Hunter Biden is going to attend viewings of the art in Los Angeles and New York with Georges Bergès Gallery, with the reports citing an elevated risk of Biden interacting with bidders in spite of any efforts at anonymity.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki says officials will not know the final buyer – with Bergès, though a close friend of Hunter's, keeping the final buyer's identity to himself. Still, some in the media have raised the prospect of a buyer boasting of a Hunter Biden purchase on social media or via conventional news outlets. .
That Bergès is also boasting of a Rolodex full of international collectors is also concerning, as are his long links with China, according to Fox News.
Bergès' China ties were also noted in the Chinese state-run newspaper China Daily.
"The questions that I always had was how's China changing the world in terms of art and culture," Bergès told China Daily. The artworks he was dealing with the Chinese "are not just pretty objects to create, but also challenge the locals' perceptions of what China is and the institutions they live with."
Bergès equated China and art to power with Resident magazine, a curious connection to make, given the scrutiny of Hunter Biden's auction and the long-running claims of influence peddling that have dogged the younger Biden.
"When you think of it, China's economy is transforming the global economy and everything is changing because of a rising China. But beyond that, what fascinates me is the cultural impact that China is having on the world. How is China affecting the global art community? And that is why I am flying to China again, because I want to further my embrace of the rising China and its undisputable growing influence of contemporary art and that is why my focus these days is mostly on China. Money may come and go. Power may come and go, but when you make a cultural impact on society, that lasts forever. Cultural power is real power. That is the reason America continues to be the capital of the world, because of its influence on culture for generations and on an unrivaled global level. And I think more and more the Chinese are beginning to understand that cultural innovation will power their future cultural influence across continents. And what will drive that cultural empowerment?
"Art – art will drive that cultural empowerment of China and that is why, as I have said, that I have made the commitment to establish the Georges Bergès Gallery foothold in China. My plan is to be the lead guy in China; the lead collector and art dealer discovering and nurturing talent from that region. I plan to find and discover and bring to the rest of the world those I consider China's next generation of modern artists."
Neither Bergès nor Hunter Biden returned Fox News' request for comment.
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