Hunter Biden, who’s name will forever be tied to the impeachment of President Trump, is pivoting his career to… art. Opening up in a New York Times profile, the son of 2020 contender and former Vice President Joe Biden insisted he was serious about his new career as an artist. “[Painting] is literally keeping me sane,” he told the Times. “For years I wouldn’t call myself an artist. Now I feel comfortable saying it.”
Perched in a Hollywood Hills home off of Mulholland Drive that rents for $12,000 a month, Biden describes how he begins his mornings painting in silence. By afternoon he has “a rough idea of a finished product” and takes a break, before getting back to work.
He paints with alcohol ink and a metal straw, and said it can take up to 14 layers to attach to the Japanese Yupo paper he uses. “[Ink] has a natural progression, and you have to be really focused in order to be able to alter it to your own imagination,” he said. The Times described his work as “buried in layers of ink were twisting faces and organs, warm yellows to melancholy blues and angry reds — morphing shapes within shapes.”
So, what exactly inspired this pivot into art? Biden is a former lawyer and lobbyist who openly dealt with drug addiction. Painting, he says, is therapeutic while dealing with his addiction and loss of his mother, sister, and brother. “It keeps me away from people and places where I shouldn’t be,” he said.
He said that the 2015 death of his brother, Beau, set him off on a four-year spiral where he became addicted to crack. Hunter Biden began dating his brother Beau’s widow after his death, and ultimately ended up marrying someone else shortly after. That said, he is no stranger to scandal — especially in the past year. Beyond dating his late brother’s widow, Biden was involved in a paternity lawsuit which revealed he was the father of a toddler in November 2019. The toddler does not belong to Beau’s widow or his current wife.
But, the name Hunter Biden — perhaps before it will ever be known in the art world — is known internationally as the linchpin in Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. After President Trump allegedly abused his power by pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political rivals, specifically Hunter Biden and his business dealings in Ukraine, he ultimately became entangled in the third presidential impeachment in U.S. history.
Biden, who sat on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings, was alleged by Trump to have shotty business dealings that Trump wanted Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate. There has been no evidence of wrongdoing with Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine, but he did admit it was “poor judgment” to take on the role in an interview last October.
Despite the series of scandals that seem to follow him, Biden says art is one of the few things that brings him solace. “It’s the one thing they can’t take away from me or conflate with anything else.”