In honor of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, which Americans celebrate every February, this installation brings together two Pop artists who exemplify today’s artistic spin on traditional imagery. Here, they give their own colorful nods to history with unique portraiture of the 16th president.
Artists Hunt Slonem and Ashley Longshore each create lavishly expressive paintings and sculptures that appeal to the modern art market, including countless Hollywood celebrities. Masters of marketing, especially on social media and book publishing, Slonem and Longshore are at the forefront of this arena expressing their respective flamboyant personalities, while maintaining their brands, like the late Andy Warhol.
Born in Maine, Hunt Slonem is known for his Neo-Expressionist paintings of bunnies, birds and butterflies, many recently on view in his solo exhibition at NCMA, Eden Never Ends in 2018. In contrast to his sumptuously colored paintings of fauna and flora, this set of presidential portraits is painted in grisaille backed by bold black and white stripes. Installed behind the duo is a multi-colored Kravet Fabrics wallpaper panels depicting other Slonem Abe Lincoln portraits, presenting an exciting juxtaposition to the monochromatic paintings.
Southern born Ashley Longshore, known as “fashion’s latest art darling” has her studio in New Orleans. A major force in the art and fashion world, she serves as artist-in-residence at Bergdorf Goodman and has worked with Gucci, Maybelline, Diane von Furstenberg and more. Through her positive attitude, she uses her art to empower the beauty of all people. Her painterly style is consistently mixed with modern humor. She also makes many art history references, as seen in her portrait of Lincoln with a playful twist of color and Jean-Michel Basquiat imagery.