Few artists can mix brilliant splashes of color and contemporary art to create fabulous design as well as Hunt Slonem. He presented his art and design concepts last week during Market at the San Francisco Design Center. Lucky for me, I was there to experience his work and gain inspiration.
Hunt Slonem paints in his own style, “exotica,” which features tropical birds and brilliantly colored butterflies placed into gorgeous spaces with a fantastic eye for interior design. Hunt places his art in 2 homes he has created. His work is inspired by a childhood in tropical Hawaii and Nicaragua where he experienced the wonderful colors of the natural world.
Hunt created a collection for Lee Jofa which turned some of his greatest work into fabrics. The pieces are created using a woven embroidery technique to echo the crosshatch patterns and brushstrokes Hunt Slonem uses to create his masterpieces. The fabric is almost indistinguishable from the original work, and adds life to a space in each home it’s placed in.
Hunt’s work is inspired by the tropical birds he has seen and he paints with real parrot models in his studio. He says he can still see the colors of the tropics vividly in his memory. I admire Hunt’s storytelling ability through his work.
Hunt’s new book, When Art Meets Design is a beautiful look into homes featuring Hunt’s art and Lee Jofa’s fabric interpretations. His homes in the South are old mansions including art from Andy Warhol and Alex Katz and lots of vintage furniture. The way he incorporates his past into his art is inspiring and breathes life into each space.
I am lucky to have seen Hunt Slonem at Market Week at the San Francisco Design Center. He tells a story through his art and I can’t wait to use some of his inspired pieces in my own interior design work. The vibrant and multi-dimensional fabrics will be a beautiful addition to some of my client’s homes.