A wall devoted to paintings of rabbits at Hunt Slonem’s studio. (Photo: Josh Rogosin)
Manhattan’s West Side has plenty of artist studios, but none quite like Hunt Slonem’s. Housed on the third floor of a football field-sized warehouse, it’s stuffed with plaster busts, chandeliers, neo-gothic furniture, Persian rugs, porcelain tchotchkes, and a greenhouse worth of lush foliage.
Then there are the birds — lots of them, inside cages and out. Slonem’s birds are an endless source of inspiration for the artist who spent part of his childhood in Hawaii and later lived in Nicaragua. When he’s not painting tropical birds or butterflies Slonem turns to another favorite subject — rabbits.
“I discovered one night, late in a Chinese restaurant, that I’m the sign of a rabbit — and I sort of start the day doing these little pieces,” he says. Set in Victorian-era frames salvaged from a local flea market, the rabbit paintings cover an entire studio wall. “I hate leaving a wall bare,” says Slonem. “It makes me nervous.” More