12 March, 2008
The Genius of Geoff Hunt
If you were to ask me a year ago about my tastes in art and music I would have instantly replied that I favored the medieval and renaissance periods - Fra Angelico, Raphael, Palestrina, Monteverdi and Gabrielli. In fact I still do to a great extent, just like a fan of Tolkien must aknowledge the great debt owed to Norse and Saxon mythologies. As I listened to more and more music I became enamored with Ottorino Respighi, the romantic era genius of orchestration and employer on many occasions of the old medieval modes in his beautiful works. He is often criticized for being somewhat bombastic and overly sentimental, a fault which can easily be forgiven after listening to the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra perform his Ancient Airs and Dances – brilliant orchestrations of timeless tunes that encapsulate the old within the new with flawless tact and ease. It is this honoring of the old, this retelling of great tales nearly forgotten that in a roundabout way lead me to the artist Geoff Hunt.
I’ve been reading Patrick O’Brian lately and have fallen in love with the style and fantastically dry offbeat humor the author injects into his stories of the British Royal Navy of the 18th and 19th centuries. I was also drawn to the lovely images found on the covers and discovered that they were all painted by the maritime artist Geoff Hunt. After much gazing I realized that I had stumbled upon a new love in my life, that of maritime art and the wonderful romantic images it provides - much akin to my discovery of Respighi through the love of ancient music. These are superb technical achievements requiring a knowledge and love of the subjects rarely found in other contemporary mediums. It is refreshing to know that works such as this are still being produced in our abstraction-crazed culture. Just thought you might like to take a look at a few of Mr. Hunt’s works. More (including other artists) can be found at Art Marine. I think I know where future Christmas gifts may be coming from…