The Grenning Gallery opens its newest exhibition, “Down the Rabbit Hole: Hunt Slonem & Kristy Gordon” on Saturday, January 15. The show runs through Sunday, February 13, but due to the recent surge in Omicron COVID cases, the gallery will not be hosting a typical opening reception.
“Down the Rabbit Hole” can be dissected into various theologies. First, it’s a bow to the animal that both artists choose to feature in their paintings. In “Whisper,” 2020, Kristy Gordon (b.1980 British Colombia) paints rabbits purring thoughts into the ears of a modern-day woman. Hunt Slonem (b.1951, Kiterry, Maine) has essentially become synonymous with his iconic paintings of bunny rabbits. A few simple gestures develop a portrait of these furry creatures. Why bunnies? Throughout cultural history, rabbits have symbolized new beginnings, good luck, haste, gentleness, fertility, and sensitivity. They inhabit every continent (except Antarctica), so they appear in mythologies and folklore of almost every international culture.
Before the bunnies, Hunt Slonem was moved to paint figures of religious sacrality. Healers, Guardians, Saints, Shamans, Siddha’s —all figures of a profound and potent faith. Slonem went on to paint many recognizable figures from pop-culture: Alfred Hitchcock, Silvia Miles, Rudolph Valentino, and Mozart to name a few. He has painted a number of iterations of portraits of Abraham Lincoln — who’s character has been a longstanding symbol of integrity and unity. However, it was his simplified yet colorful paintings of birds, and then his repetitive depictions of rabbits which skyrocketed Slonem to art-stardom.
Grenning Gallery is at 26 Main Street, Sag Harbor. The gallery is open Thursday through Monday and by appointment on Tuesday and Wednesday. Visit grenninggallery.com for details.