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Hunt Slonem, Untitled (multi-colored butterflies). Courtesy of Miller Gallery.

Hunt Slonem: Butterflies

“I saw a butterfly in a coffee plantation growing up,” Hunt Slonem once said. “I never got over the experience.” Slonem’s winged creatures often float across his mesmerizing canvases in groups—for the artist, the act of repetition is a form of worship, and each butterfly acts as a mantra to celebrate metamorphosis, rebirth, and divinity of nature. Slonem’s exotic butterflies are inspired by the lush environments of Hawaii, Louisiana, and Nicaragua, where the artist spent his youth as the son of a Navy officer and later as an adventurous foreign exchange student. Painting from memory in an impressionistic style, Slonem portrays butterflies with softly blurred wings to preserve them in an ever-fleeting moment.

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