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Hunt Slonem with his parrot Perky and samples from his collection with Lee Jofa's Groundworks. Photography by Frédéric Lagrange.

In Fine Feather (By Deb Schwartz)

Just a glimpse of his Manhattan studio makes it clear: The painter Hunt Slonem-the creator of a new line of fabrics, wallpapers, and rugs for Lee Jofa's Groundworks brand-is a devout maximalist. Pictured above with his parrot Perky and samples from the collection, Slonem shares the 30,000-square-foot loft with, among other things, a menagerie of live birds, loads of antique furniture, marble busts by the dozen, and, of course, masses of his lavishly colored animal paintings. "I'm really into the ‘more is more' mode," says the artist, who has fashioned similar environments at the historic houses he owns in Louisiana and upstate New York. "Bare white walls scare me!" he adds. Indeed, with his collection, available in mid-November, Slonem has provided an exuberant antidote to blank spaces.To start, he's conceived a quartet of wallpapers featuring such upbeat motifs as his signature flocks of finches and trompe l'oeil salon-style arrangements of framed rabbit portraits. There are also fabrics in patterns ranging from parrots in tropical hues to spirited stripes dotted with Impressionistic butterflies. And he has devised a set of rugs animated by more fauna still: some with bunnies and others with mesmerizing monkey eyes.

Thanks to advanced digital-printing technologies, Lee Jofa was able to retain the jaunty quality of Slonem's paintings. "We didn't want the designs to look like flat surfaces," explains Stephen Elrod, the company's creative director. "We wanted to capture the brushstrokes, depth, nuance, and complexity of his works." The collaboration-Lee Jofa's first with an artist-truly reflects Slonem's lyrical style and his love of the exotic. "It's all very joyous," says the painter, "and that's the point."


For complete article from Architectual Digest click here



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