Artist Hunt Slonem and his bunnies attract Milford glitterati

Milford. An artist's lifelong obsession delights guests at book signing and exhibit held in the Hotel Fauchère Conservatory.


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Photos



  • Hunt Slonem flanked by friends Gary Polikar (left) and author John Berendt (right) (Photo by Marilyn Rosenthal)




  • Annette Haar, a member of the Milford Borough Council and the event's host commitee (Photo by Marilyn Rosenthal)




  • "Bitty Bunnies" -- note the special touch: the gold bunnies on the fore-edge of the book (Photo by Marilyn Rosenthal)




  • The "Bunnies Limited Edition" in its silk box, with bunny painting included (Photo provided)



Where to get your own bunnies

Glitterati Editions has three versions of Slonem’s Bunnies for sale.
Most people at the Hotel Fauchère book signing bought "Bitty Bunnies" in the standard book size, for $30. There is also a coffee table sized edition titled "Bunnies Regular Edition, at $95. A very special edition, "Bunnies Limited Edition," costs $350 and comes in a gold silk box and includes an additional frameable drawing.
The books are available online at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
They may also be purchased directly from Marta Hallett, the publisher, who can be reached at mhallett@glitteratiincorporated.com. She has some stock in Milford.


By Marilyn Rosenthal

The sun last Saturday shone brightly into the Hotel Fauchère Conservatory, as the larger-than-life neo-expressionist artist Hunt Slonem signed copies of his new book and showed his paintings. The event was presented by Slonem’s publisher, Glitterati Editions. And the glitterati of Milford streamed in to meet him.

The equally sparkling host committee included Annette Haar, John Berendt, Christopher Makos, Doug Manion, Xavier Morales, Paul Solberg, Megan Strub, and Sean Strub.

Glitterati Editions publishes sumptuous illustrated books on art, architecture, and design. The books themselves are works of art.

“We identify what makes a book special, and then produce it in a way that reflects that same value," said Marta Hallett, Glitterati’s publisher.

Glitterati’s books are like coffee table books on steroids because of their substance. They include an editorial component that tells the story and are not just an array of pictures.

Hunt Slonem’s book, "Bitty Bunnies," includes a beautifully written forward by John Berendt, author of "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" and a collector of Slonem’s work. Bruce Helander’s essay on bunnies, edited by Susan Hall, describes the role of bunnies in literature and tracks Hunt’s fascination with them, from childhood on.

“It has been not only the rich variety of breeds that has attracted the artist to his perpetual documentation and abstraction of bunnies," Helander says, "but that these enchanting animals are often used as a symbol of fertility or rebirth and have long been associated with spring as the ‘Easter Bunny.'”

From whimsical to scary

Slonem's work pivots between the fantastic and the natural. He is internationally celebrated as a prolific American painter, sculptor, and printmaker. His work has been exhibited in more than 350 galleries and museums worldwide, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim, and the Whitney, and has appeared in at least five movies and numerous interviews and documentaries on the small screen. He also continues to exhibit in private and corporate collections.

Slonem travels extensively and has homes or studios in Brooklyn and Kingston, N.Y., the Armory in Scranton, Pa., and the Woolworth building in Scranton. One week he has exhibits in Spain, the next in Paris, the next in Russia. There is even an illustrated book on his homes called Pleasure Palaces- the Art and Homes of Hunt Slonem by Vincent Katz.

He was recently commissioned to make a 22-foot butterfly sculpture for a butterfly park in Louisiana.

Hunt began working on bunnies when he had discovered that the year of his birth was the year of the Rabbit in the Chinese Zodiac. He often repeats imagery in his series because he feels the act is similar to spiritual meditation.

“Mantras are holy because you repeat them," Slonem says.

Berendt tells us about Slonem's morning ritual of painting bunnies on rectangular panels of wood or Masonite. The artist does this even before he has his first cup of coffee, or calls any of his psychic advisors. Slonem calls this his warm-ups, his artistic calisthenics.

He paints quickly in broad strokes and has complete control of the colors, shapes, and textures that emanate from his mind’s eye. The result is fantastic.

The bunnies evoke moods and diverse personalities. Some are whimsical, others are fuzzy and sweet ,or perhaps scary or even temperamental. Some bunnies have names like Jane, Joe, Liliana, or Heidi.

For a brief moment, the guests at this book signing event were able to enter into Slonem’s mystical, magical world.






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