Hunt Slonem is renowned for his distinct neo-expressionist style. He is best known for his series of bunnies, butterflies and tropical birds, as well as his large-scale sculpture. 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.
Slonem's flair and admiration for far-flung destinations has been a staple of his life since childhood. Slonem was born in 1951 in Kittery, Maine, and his father’s position as a Navy officer meant the family moved often during Hunt’s formative years, including extended stays in Hawaii, California and Connecticut. He would continue to seek out travel opportunities throughout his young-adult years, studying abroad in Nicaragua and Mexico; these eye-opening experiences imbued him with an appreciation for tropical landscapes that would influence his unique style.
When Hunt Slonem enters his studio each morning, he warms up by painting bunnies. Slonem, who has owned rabbits as pets since childhood, began painting the creatures in sweeping brushstrokes in the 1980s because he was drawn to their simple, cuddly shapes. “One night I was having Chinese food, and I looked down and realized I am the sign of the rabbit,” Slonem once explained, referring to his Chinese zodiac sign. “So maybe they’re sort of all self-portraits.” To mount his bunny paintings, Slonem has amassed a huge collection of 19th-century frames from flea markets, which he hangs salon-style in his home studio, packed wall-to-wall. The bunnies, rendered in almost childlike contour lines against solid color backgrounds, have multiplied throughout Slonem’s oeuvre, becoming one of his most famous symbols of innocence, luck, mythology, and nature