This spring, internationally acclaimed artist Hunt Slonem has launched his first whimsical collection of vibrant home goods and fashion accessories, playfully dubbed the Hop Up Shop. These exciting new essentials can be found at Bergdorf Goodman, and Slonem’s iconic artworks are available in the Twin Cities at Douglas Flanders & Associates art gallery. Here, Slonem chats with us about his inspiration, his new collection and more.
When did you start creating art?
Creating art was all I ever wanted to do as a child. I remember the first time I went to school in Hawaii, and the walls were painted in bright colors. I had gone to schools where walls were painted in dull greens and grays. It was like the lights were turned on for me, and it was thrilling to be situated in an environment awash in color.
How would you describe the style of your work?
Non-category and exotica. I’ve been called a neo-expressionist a great deal, but I love Howard Hodgkin’s term “non-category” the best because I don’t like to be included in a group description. I derive all my inspiration from nature, and everything I paint is from my own experience. Growing up in Hawaii and Nicaragua, I encountered the unknown every day, like rare tropical birds and lush, unusual plant life.
What inspired you to launch a collection of home and fashion accessories?
One of my gallerists asked if I was interested in creating a standalone collection, and I loved the idea of heading in a new creative direction. This installation is a reflection of my world, and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I’m thrilled with the vibrancy, and I love mixing time periods, styles and colors. I like to think of it as time traveling. I’m happy to share my world in this way because it’s more accessible.
Do you have a favorite item in your new collection?
I love the hand-embroidered silk pillows. I’m a sucker for color and simplicity.
You’re most known for your iconic artwork. What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I love to paint my bedrooms blue. Cerulean is a favorite.