The highly anticipated opening this weekend at the Madison Gallery in La Jolla (shown above) is Hunt Slonem’s third solo exhibition, When Art Meets Design. Arguably one of the most fascinating artists of our time, Slonem has remained a representational and expressionist artist even during conceptualism’s dominance. He is one of the few contemporary artists that have remained true to himself and his style. His latest book, along with this exhibit, When Art Meets Design, celebrates Slonem’s approach to color and defined aesthetics with new selected artworks featuring Slonem’s popular series of bunnies, butterflies, birds and new landscapes.
What is likely to strike you as you read this book is how Hunt the designer and Hunt the artist together make so much sense, as he graciously welcomes us into his own stunning homes in Louisiana and upstate New York. His views on design offer a design-oriented context to the way that he creates his art, as though he is thinking above and beyond the moment in which he paints. Slonem is a decorator, a collector, a colorist, and an artist who is so prolific that he has been compared to Warhol and Picasso. Here are a few takeaways from his latest book:
On Replication: Mulitplicity is a recurrent theme in his work. Each morning, Slonem does his “warm-ups”, a few calligraphic bunny paintings to get the creative juices flowing; the replication becomes a meditation for the artist. Throughout the book we see a common thread of soulful meditation and inspiration in Slonem’s world.
On Collecting: Slonem is part of a long tradition of artists collecting and fashioning surroundings that please or inspire them, from Sir Peter Paul Rubens to Damien Hirst. We see the multiplicity aspect clearly in Slonem’s own beautiful homes based on his numerous collections, which show us that multiplicity is about the intake as well as artistic output. He adds a refreshingly lively twist to the traditional methods of display. All designers should study this book.
“I am a believer that if you get three or more of the same thing together, you’ve got a good look going.” Hunt Slonem
On Color: Slonem is a brilliant colorist who understands the connection between color and mood. He chooses mainly clear colors that resonate emotionally and suit the room’s theme.
On Decorating: There is no way Slonem will allow interior design to be boring or “safe”, which is an added bonus to whoever collects his art. As a New Orleans native, I immediately identify with the energetic New Orleans vibe of his design style (he went to Tulane and some of his homes are in Louisiana…). When it comes to decorating, he lets the process unfold, allowing his rooms evolve rather than being planned and designed.
“I am very influenced by the unseen, the life that existed in places before me. Louisiana offers a whole other slice of history that is so rich and exotic to me.” – Hunt Slonem
If there is one take home message, it is to by all means, collect his work while you can. Seriously.
About the Artist:
Since 1977, Hunt Slonem has had more than 350 exhibitions at prestigious galleries and museums internationally. His work is exhibited globally, in cities including Madras, Quito, Venice, Gustavia, San Juan, Guatemala City, Paris, Amsterdam, Madrid, Stockholm, Oslo, Cologne, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. Slonem’s work is in over eighty museums, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum, and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary art in Kansas City. He is highly collected by artists and celebrities alike including Yoko Ono, Jimmy Fallon, Sharon Stone, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Anne Hathaway, and Cameron Diaz, among others.
To See and Purchase Hunt Slonem works:
The Hunt Slonem Exhibition at MADISON GALLERY (sneak peek of the exhibit above)
from May 7 – June 11, with an opening reception and book signing on Saturday, May 7 from 6-8 pm.
1055 Wall Street
La Jolla, Ca