Fine artist turned fashion artist, Donnie Hunt rarely used a canvas. Better for Hunt was old army fatigues, or polyester on which he did his first acrylic painting. He used anything that could have a life outside of a museum. Hunt painted boldly, and used primitive figures that literally screamed off the sleeve, the jacket, the vest, or the tee-shirt. Joe Satriani, world renowned guitar player, adopted Hunt’s throbbing, high-style primitives to embellish not only his clothing, but also his limited edition guitars by Ibanez.
Hunt was always drawn to the primitive images that covered his garments. His recurring symbols were forked sticks and skeleton and rolling heads. Even as a child, he would save his money to buy an Indian pot while the other kids bought bubblegum or toys. “My designs are not for everyone,” said Hunt. “You’ve got to be very secure and enjoy wearing clothing that attracts attention. Maybe that’s why kids and rock stars love wearing them.”
Although Hunt abandoned the traditional art world, he held a B.A. in painting from the California College of the Arts in Oakland, and two Masters Degrees in fine arts, painting and sculpture from San Jose State University. He was also a well-known art teacher and administrator with expertise in instructing children and adults in painting, drawing, sculpture, watercolor, design, jewelry, and ceramics. Hunt was well-received and recognized by the Bay Area arts community. He won the Artist Society International Painting Award in 1987, was chosen for the Survey of Bay Area drawing at the Richmond Art Center, and was represented by the Museum of Modern Art Rental Gallery at Fort Mason.
Hunt’s “graffiti” outfits were noted by Women’s Wear Daily at the Gift of Life Benefit for Project Open Hand and the AIDS ward at San Francisco General Hospital.
Hunt’s own word’s best sum up his fashion look: “You’ll recognize my clothes when you see them. They are bizarre!”
Photos and press release for this artist.