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Hunt Slonem (American, b.b. 1951)


Birth Place: Kittery (York county, Maine, United States)


Who is painter Hunt Slonem?

Hunt Slonem is an American painter who is best known for his Neo-Expressionist paintings that frequently feature tropical birds. These birds are often from Slonem’s personal aviary, where it’s believed he has over 100 live species. His work is regularly exhibited at prestigious museums across the globe, and Slonem has developed an especially vocal fanbase since his breakout in the mid-1970s. Slonem has won awards and grants from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, a Macdowell Fellowship (three times), the Ragdale Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He was awarded the Stars of Design Award in 2009.

Hunt Slonem has also participated in the Art in Embassies Program, which is funded by the US State Department which promotes artistic and cultural outreach through exhibitions, artist exchanges, and other events. He is collected by many celebrities including Sharon Stone, Brooke Shields, and J.Lo. His art appears in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Gallery of Art in DC, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and the Guggenheim (among many others).

What kind of art does Hunt Slonem make?

Hunt Slonem paints Neo-Expressionist paintings of birds, typically from his own personal aviary. These paintings often have hints of abstract expressionism, mysticism, and a strong sense of humor. This mixture of high and low concept has netted Slonem a considerable amount of supporters in the art community, with celebrities, and the general public. His pieces are often vibrantly colorful and playful. Often accompanied by thick, hard brush strokes, there is a texture and beauty to Slonem’s work that is truly one of a kind.

How did painter Hunt Slonem get started?

Hunt Slonem was born in Maine to a middle-class family. The oldest of four, Slonem’s family moved around quite often thanks to his father’s career in the navy. It was ultimately his grandmother who encouraged his paintings. Slonem said that he was often given paints and supplies by his grandparents and knew that he wanted to be a painter since the first grade. His family was extremely supportive of all artistic endeavors, and as such Hunt’s younger brother Jeffrey has also become a successful journalist and writer. Slonem studied at Vanderbilt University, spending six months in Mexico in an exchange program that would change his life. During this time, he discovered his love of birds. Eventually, he would graduate with a degree in painting and art history from Tulane University. He moved to New York in 1973 and quickly established himself as a preeminent talent in the Neo-Expressionist art movement.

How much are Hunt Slonem paintings worth?

Hunt Slonem’s paintings can be worth a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the piece. The most ever paid for a Hunt Slonem painting is $80,000 for the piece Healer, Dr. Gregorio Hernandez (1986) on May 18th, 2019. It is an oddity in the Slonem catalog, a piece that doesn’t feature his trademark birds, but rather a well-dressed gentleman surrounded by monkeys. In many ways, it embodies several of Slonem’s favorite themes, the juxtaposition of nature and humanity, humor, and an exotic and irreverent tone. Slonem paintings are often prized for their quirky colorful sense of humor, any collector that this resonates with would be wise to pick one up when they become available.

Where to buy Hunt Slonem paintings for sale?

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How to value Hunt Slonem paintings?

The best way to value art is to compare past auction prices for similar works. View past sale prices below. When you’re ready to sell, contact Heritage Auctions to request an auction estimate of the likely selling price at auction. If you need a formal written appraisal for estate planning or insurance, please contact our Appraisal Services Department.

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