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Inside Hunter Biden's controversial art show in SoHo: Exhibition opens with tight security

Hunter Biden's art show has officially opened in New York City, with industry observers and ethics experts eagerly watching to see who purchases the $500,000 canvasses.

The president's son, 51, made his Big Apple debut as a professional artist at the Georges Berges Gallery in the SoHo district of Manhattan.

Anyone wanting to see the 15 works of art must make an appointment, and be vetted in advance.

The show opened on Saturday. It was unclear how long the exhibition would last, but the gallery website said that another artist was launching their own show on the site on November 18.

Biden's wife, Melissa Cohen, a South African documentary maker, was spotted at the gallery on Saturday. On Sunday, only three people went to see the works.

The Georges Berges Gallery in SoHo has opened its exhibition of 15 paintings by Hunter Biden, the son of the president

Biden, 51, took up art as a way to help him in his recovery from addition to alcohol and drugs

The show in Manhattan marks Biden's debut as a professional artist, and has caused significant controversy and fears about ethics. Critics say that anyone wanting to endear themselves to the first family could buy Biden's paintings

Biden works on canvas, yup paper, wood, and metal. He then uses oil, acrylic, and ink

Biden, a Yale-educated lawyer, has had several different careers. He famously served on the board of Ukrainian energy firm Burisma, despite lacking any relevant experience, sparking criticism of him for using his father's position to boost his own wealth and influence 

When asked if there would be a formal opening of the show, Berges, who currently represents 16 artists, told The New York Post: 'I don't know.' 

Biden is described on Berges' website as 'a lawyer by profession' who 'now devotes his energies to the creative arts, bringing innumerable experiences to bear.' 

The gallery states: 'The results are powerful and impactful paintings ranging from photogenic to mixed media to the abstract. 

'His chosen substrates are canvas, yup paper, wood, and metal on which he affixes oil, acrylic, ink along with the written word; all of which creates a unique experience that has become his signature.'

Biden began painting as part of his recovery from addictions, and is said to have turned to his canvasses to deal with the stress of being central to attempts to impeach Donald Trump in 2019.

Joe Biden has been unwavering in his support for his son's endeavor. 

Hunter, left with his father and the White House claim not to know who is buying his paintings, amid fears the sales could be used to try and gain influence within the White House 

But ethics experts have expressed alarm, warning that anyone wanting to curry favor with the president could buy a painting to impress.

The White House has said that the buyers will be anonymous, to allay fears. Yet few believe that the identity of the purchasers will remain a secret for long.

Sources say lawyers are vetting individuals who want to view Biden's paintings at Berges' Manhattan gallery.

'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 told the Post.

'They laid down rules that thorough vetting of any collector has to be done by a team of lawyers.'

Officials have not revealed who hired the lawyers or the purpose behind the legal vetting. 

Earlier on Sunday it emerged that Berges was photographed wearing a Camp David hat after Joe Biden visited the presidential retreat – sparking questions whether the controversial gallerist joined the first family there.

Hunter Biden's art dealer Georges Berges, right, is pictured wearing a Camp David hat two days before the president's son's art exhibition opened 

Gossip columnist George Wayne, left, shared the snap on his Instagram, sparking speculation over whether Berges had traveled to the presidential retreat 

It remains unclear if Berges stayed at Camp David, pictured, but the photo of the hat is set to raise eyebrows over Hunter's latest career choice 

The picture was shared on Instagram on Thursday by renowned gossip columnist and celebrity interviewer George Wayne, who claims to have introduced Hunter to Berges.

‘GB shows up wearing a fabulous cap emblazoned with the Presidential seal and the words Camp David Presidential Retreat 46 all over it,’ Wayne wrote.

‘Say whaaa? Were you at Camp David last weekend with your artist Hunter Biden???!!!’

Though the writer is known for his tongue-in-cheek posts, a personal visit with the first family could prove a controversial move by the gallerist, who is under intense scrutiny amid fears that Hunter’s art sales could be a conduit for corrupt attempts to financially influence the Biden family.

Hunter's paintings, two of which are pictured above, have been praised by experts, who say they could sell for up to $500,000 each, with the artist's connection to the president further boosting their value