At least five prints of Hunter Biden’s artwork have already been sold for $75,000 each and a team of lawyers is vetting potential patrons who plan to attend his upcoming gallery show in New York City — which has now been delayed until the spring, The Post has learned.
The Georges Berges Gallery sold the prints before the Oct. 1 opening of a “pop-up” presentation in Los Angeles, a source familiar with the matter said Thursday.
It’s unclear who purchased the reproductions — which cost a fraction of the top price of $500,000 for an original piece by President Biden’s scandal-scarred son — or if any more were sold after the LA show opened.
“But most of those allowed to buy works are long-term, private collectors with the gallery, people that Berges knows personally,” the source said.
Meanwhile, a leading ethics expert told The Post that Biden’s recent schmoozing with attendees at his debut exhibition showed that a White House attempt to prevent influence-peddling by keeping buyers anonymous won’t work and should be scrapped in favor of a “Plan B.”
Richard Painter, who was President George W. Bush’s chief ethics lawyer, said the LA opening — where Hunter Biden mingled with about 200 guests — “just illustrates how this veil-of-secrecy idea is not happening.”
“It shows the deal’s not going to be secret,” he said. “I think the White House needs to go to Plan B.”
As for anyone who wants to view Biden’s paintings at Berges’ Manhattan gallery, the source said stringent screening measures have been put in place.
“It is a whole process to get in to see the Biden show. You have to call the gallery in Soho, and they are vetting people carefully,” the source said.
“They laid down rules that thorough vetting of any collector has to be done by a team of lawyers.”
The source also said that the New York City show, which was supposed to open this month, has been pushed back until the spring, with the LA show continuing through November.
The purpose of the legal vetting, who hired the lawyers and the reason for the delayed opening were all unclear.
Painter, now a professor at the University of Minnesota Law School, noted that “buyers buy artwork to hang on the wall, not put in a closet.”
“They tend to be rich people, and rich people come to their houses and it tends to get around,” he said.
“Everyone’s going to be talking about it and everyone’s going to know.”
Painter said the best way to prevent anyone from gaining leverage over the White House by paying the “crazy prices” for Hunter Biden’s artwork would be to not sell it until after his dad leaves office.
Barring that, Painter said, there should be “full transparency” of the buyers’ identities and President Biden and his appointees should all sign “recusal” pledges “to ensure these people can’t get access to the White House.”
“We did that in the Bush White House,” he said. “If people tried to contact the government who were business partners of the Bushes, we made sure they contacted people who weren’t political appointees.”
On Wednesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki was pressed by reporters about LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, who is the president’s nominee to be the US ambassador to India, having been in attendance at last week’s opening at Hollywood’s Milk Studios.
“Should we expect to see more people who seek jobs in this administration attending events like this in the future?” asked CBS News Radio reporter Steven Portnoy, who is president of the White House Correspondents’ Association.
Psaki grew flustered as she repeated months-old talking points and in one instance said, “Again, the gallerist has spoken to — we’ve spoken to the specifics of what the gallerist has agreed to and what recommendations were made. I’ve done that several times. I don’t have additional details for it from here. I’d point you to them.”
Neither the Berges Gallery, Hunter Biden’s lawyer, his book publicist nor the White House returned requests for comment Thursday.