Italian artist Hunto is quite possibly one of the most recognisable street artists currently active on the London street art scene. His cubist, Picasso inspired figures interact with the public on shutters, hoardings and walls with increasing regularity. He has a style that is hard to miss, bright, bold, colourful, it’s hard to walk by and not take a second look.
Resident in London since 2009, Hunto has travelled the world with his art having grown up on the southern tip of Italy in the town of Brindisi. He says that art saved him, initially tagging around his home town he painted illegally, learning how to paint fast and accurate. Those skills, honed in his early years whilst trying not to get caught, mean that he is now able to produce marvellously intricate pieces of work in no time at all. The town in which he grew up is still an inspiration, he misses it but is still able to draw energy from there despite growing roots in London’s East End
Now of course he exhibits and, in general, paints legal spots. He has made a name for himself but he still harks back to those freer days painting on the boot of Med. He tells me that real street art is what some might term ‘illegal’, people working fast and accurate, quickly producing something amazing whilst trying not to get caught. In fact like so many former graffiti writers he struggles to come to terms with his new identity as a ‘street artist’ coined by the likes of this blog. He covers his face when having his picture taken, although that he says is nothing to do with not wanting to be known and more to do with simply being a little camera shy.
Hunto’s work has been compared to Picasso and it’s really easy to see why, one look will tell you all you need to know about his inspiration. Growing up in Brindisi he had one book and that was a collection of works by the master, it has stayed with him. His style of cubism takes the form generally of women. Women in a variety of situations, often with a sexual or sometimes more subtle romantic element to it. Women is what he is interested in, this is his inspiration, the show Bella Mia is a tribute to women. Such is his style of course that unless you really study the work, it’s hard to tell what his female characters are up to, remember he’s a cubist and Picasso is his inspiration, his images are not obvious you need to stop and look.
Bella Mia means ‘My Beauty’ in Hunto’s native language and the show is hosted at the Cre8 Gallery in Hackney Wick. A legacy venue from the Olympics it’s aim is to help artists gain exposure in the capital. A former public baths it has been converted into a community space in which many creative projects can be held. The Hunto show is one of a number planned. Lasting until 3rd December, it showcases the artists work well with some opportunities to grab some original and limited edition art. For Hunto the show also presents the chance to try new things and indeed the show showcases works in oil and pencil. Ultimately though the show is nothing without the love, the love of women and the love of art.
Hunto was interviewed at the Cre8 Gallery in Hackney Wick on Sunday 17th November as he prepared for his Bella Mia show. Further pictures were taken on the opening night on Thursday 21st November. The show runs until 3rd December 2013.
Bella Mia Gallery
For more Inspiring City posts featuring Hunto, try:
Hunting Hunto in the East End
The Unique Art Extravaganza of the Far Rockaway Bar in Shoreditch
Awesome Street Art Collaborations, 10 of the best Street Art Mash Ups
Streetfest London Rocks Shoreditch