A long time ago—in another city, another job, a different life, before kids—I worked at a fashion magazine. For about a year there, I sat right next to a guy whose job was to cadge quippy little quotations from celebrities for our magazine's back page. He spent his evenings going to fabulous parties all over the city, interviewing people on the red carpet—and his days double-checking comments and name spellings and dress loans, dispensing gossip all the while. Thanks to the close quarters, I heard it all: who was friendly and who was a troll, who looked awful in person, whose marriage was a sham. All appearances to the contrary, this guy was a really sweet coworker and a devoted husband. Several times a day he'd take a break from this incredibly bitchy work to gurgle sweetly over the phone to his toddler son (who is now probably graduating from high school or something—that's how long ago this was).
He'd also frequently check in with and speak highly of his older brother: an artist, as it turns out, who happens to be Hunt Slonem. He's known for large-scale paintings—his bird mural graces the Bryant Park Grill near the New York Public Library (which is a lovely place to eat if you're in midtown Manhattan).
But I'm most drawn to his smaller paintings of birds, rabbits, and butterflies. They're rendered with heavy confident brushstrokes in lush paint—all on small boards or canvases. I like their intimacy and simplicity and bold color. He's a bold character, all right: You can read more about his crazy houses (Louisiana plantations? loft with 89 rooms? what?) here.