Hunt Slonem (b.1951-)
Oil on canvas
44 x 66 inches
Hunt Slonem's paintings are at once vibrant, energetic and colorful, yet also deeply spiritual and contemplative. The artist creates exotic forms with expressive and highly textural brushstrokes that are full of intense color, loosely inspired by artists of the German Expressionism movement.
The artist's hand can clearly be seen in loose, expressive brushstrokes. The impasto of built-up paint on the canvas creates a texture not unlike the feathers of a bird, and even calls to mind the rustling of feathers.
Slonem creates beautiful, surprising scenes that offer a calming joy to those who encounter it. From the very beginning, animals and the natural world, most notably birds, have been the central focus of his work. For Slonem, birds signify divinity and transcendence in their ability to leave the realm of earth and its constraints through flight. He sees the ability of birds to fly - to achieve atmospheric height - as a direct metaphor for transcendence from an earthly to a spiritual realm.
Indeed, however dark the material, they seem to dissolve in light-dematerialize-as in Cockatoos, which are pure presences, all but disembodied," remarks critic, Donald Kuspit.