The art of Hunt Slonem makes me happy.
Hunt Slonem is an American Neo-Expressionist artist who is very much loved and celebrated for his distinct animal paintings, most famed for his bunny paintings in particular. I personally love his bird paintings. He finds inspiration from his many rescued exotic birds, over 60 which live in a beautiful large avery.
With such a strong spiritual connection to his subjects, his paintings depict the auras of the animals he admires so much. As a child growing up in Hawaii his passion for exotic birds in particular deepened then during his time in Central America. Slonem has travelled the globe with much sensitivity to other cultures and the natural world around him. So much so, his paintings express an ongoing scene of constant stimulation from a world he so clearly admires for its beauty and energy.
What strikes me the most about Slonem’s paintings is that they’re so beautifully unpretentious, naive at face value, but so intricately and diligently executed at a further glance. At first sight, the textures are what stood out to me the most. With a technique of wet on wet paint, with his bunny paintings in particular you can see his actions and movement in each brush stroke. This simple appliqué makes for unique markings that will look different each time. They have a burst of energy about them, possibly captured by the technique that forever encases the original brush strokes, really emphasising a moment where the canvas came to life.
Whether its the child like approach, or the bright and bold colours of his artwork, his paintings have a warmth that makes me feel happy whenever I look at them. I don’t need to know more, I don’t need to read any further into them. I enjoy them at face value and that type of honest and open art can reopen the notion of art being about fun and enjoyment, and not always about locating deeper meanings.