American artist Hunt Slonem is a bright, unique, world-renowned and award-winning creator of neo-expressionist painting, sculptor, graphic artist, collector, personality... Slonem’s artistic career began in the late eighties in New York, and his works now are exhibited in more than 100 of the world’s best-known galleries and museums (including Solomon R. Gugenheim and Metropolitan Museum of Art) and private collections.
The exhibition of the works by the artist Hunt Slonem, initiated by Serge Sorokko Gallery from San Francisco, USA, is the first presentation of contemporary American art at “Aušros” museum. The exhibition held at the villa was exhibited May 26, 2021 – July 3, 2021. The concept of the exhibition is based on an extended presentation of the artist’s work by exhibiting works not only in the exhibition halls of the villa but also by incorporating them into the main exposition of the villa, representing the culture of Lithuanian manors. Such presentation of works provokes and intrigues a visitor who is longing for new experiences. Bright, expressive works by the artist, their distinctive style attract attention, stir emotions and allow viewers to admire them. The works are full of energy, which has the power to stop a rushing viewer and include him in the artist’s unique world.
Birds are Slonem’s most common and favourite topic. They are his muses and inspirations. Hunt has painted thousands of birds of all kinds, colours and sizes, from rainbow finches to toucans and peacocks. Rich, pure canvases with colours and strokes, home to feathered creatures, adorn walls from Moscow Museum of Modern Art to the demolished World Trade Centre. This enchanting and motley kingdom of wildlife is not a coincidence – Slonem creates birds not only from his free and unbridled imagination, but also from nature, he keeps a lot of exotic birds in his workshop, usually, between thirty and a hundred at the same time. The artist rescues the winged creatures from animal shelters, treats them, takes care of them, makes sure he can later express his admiration for the birds with strokes, rich colours and take the viewer to a completely different, parallel and exotic kingdom. These magical worlds were also born during the artist’s travel and work experiences in southern countries, with brightly coloured works becoming a kind of natural opposing force for the cold and dead architecture of big cities and the concrete pavement.
Hares, butterflies and birds are an important symbol and denominator of freedom in Slonem’s artwork. It should be noted that Hunt has created the fresco entitled “Fan Dancing with the Birds” (1978) for World Trade Centre in New York, which unfortunately was destroyed during the attack on September 11, 2001, along with the entire supermarket and other works of various artists exhibited there. When creating the magical space of his work, the author seems to invite the viewer to his Eden gardens for a quiet moment of meditation, a moment of harmony, redemption and calm, as the world with its conflicts and problems seems to offer nothing good anymore. The ears of the rabbit are soothing, and the more it has them, the greater the peace. By the way, a rabbit or a hare isn’t a random character in Slonem’s artwork either – the artist was born in a hare year according to the Chinese horoscope.
The huge paradox is that the longer you look at Slonem’s animal kingdom, the more it enchants and engages you. You feel obsessed. Probably just as the artist is overwhelmed with the glamorous and remarkable world of winged creatures and other animals. Hunt Slonem’s artwork is about the possibility of colour, the expression and repetition of the stroke as a sign of respect and charm for the diversity of humanity and nature, and a mantra for global harmony.
“Aušros” museum thanks to the gallery founder and owner Serge Sorokko and artist Hunt Slonem for productive cooperation.
The exhibition is open May 26 – July 03, 2022
Chaimas Frenkelis villa (Vilniaus st. 74, Šiauliai, Lithuania)