Picul 5, 1996
Oil on canvas
40 x 30 inches
Framed Dimensions: 41.75 x 31.25 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.
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.
The impasto of built-up paint on the canvas of Picul 5 creates a texture not unlike the feathers of a bird, and even calls to mind the rustling of feathers. A certain kinetic energy can also be felt in the scoring of the many layers of wet paint that creates both vertical and horizontal lines in the composition, bringing up the colors of the underlying layers. Birds in a variety of colors sit amongst broad brushstrokes of blue, yellow, orange, and green which evoke a sense of energy.
Slonem’s works can be found in the permanent collections of 250 museums around the world, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the Whitney, the Miro Foundation and the New Orleans Museum of Art.