ML: You are from New York. Tell us a little about yourself and your background in art.
HH: My background in art started when I was a child. My beautifully whimsical French grandmother, Evelynn, was an impressionist painter and influential part of my strong desire to learn and paint throughout my life. I don’t paint in the manner that she does currently, I found my own unique style. I forgo the use of brushes and paint with just my hands, I work around my canvas on the floor to music of all genres – music is a key to opening my subconscious and allowing me to pour out my deepest thoughts. My larger abstracts, which are often what I get commissioned to paint, are challenging, so I built 20-foot catwalks to walk over the enormous canvas, allowing me to get the harmony that each piece must have in its chaotic nature. ML: What attracted you to hand painting, and how do you decide when a piece is finished?
HH: Painting with my hands was a way of controlling where my paint landed. I need also to feel the weight and texture. It’s a way of connecting to all of it; it completes the process in the most raw sense. A piece is finished is when it speaks back to me, what we call in art an “Aha! moment”. It’s like the first time falling in love, it’s all over you, and you just know. ML: What is your connection to Monaco, and what does it mean for an artist to exhibit here, as opposed to having a show in London or Paris?
HH: On a personal level, I’ve been coming to Monaco for over a decade. I’m in love with the romance of its beauty and felt compelled to be here. Professionally, I came to Monaco back in 2013 when I was asked to participate in GemLucArt, the exhibition under the Honorary Presidency of HRH Princess of Hanover, which raise funds for the fight against cancer. It’s an international competition and representing the US, I did very well placing third out of ninety-three. ML: Would you say there’s an art scene in Monaco?
HH: All that cities where I’ve exhibited have an art scene and Monaco is no different. I think we need to engage more and bring some new blood here to liven Monaco up a bit. I feel maybe I might be the fresh face it needs. ML: As an artist, how do you define success?
HH: Success to me is freedom. I have this in my life, I do what I love and live each day thrilled to be in it. ML: Looking at the Diamond Dust Collection portfolio, what inspires your work?
HH: Diamond Dust was created for Monaco, and it exists because of the place. The opulence and beauty of Monaco is the collection. ML: I read you travel extensively. What is one thing you do when visiting a new place and what has travel taught you as an artist?
HH: Travelling is inspiring and I enjoy meeting artists from the region, to see what I can learn from them and hopefully share with them some of my experiences and techniques. I’m likely to take in my surroundings, shoot mental pictures to gather inspiration for something new I might be working on. I’m forever a student and take it in like a sponge. ML: For art goers who come to see the Diamond Dust Collection at the Port Palace Hotel, what impression do you hope to make?
HH: People who come to see my new works will get a glimpse of a compelling, complex and distinctive artist. They will get to see how I view Monaco on canvas: beauty, grace with a dash of glitz. Hallie Hart’s Diamond Dust Collection at Port Palace opens March 22 and runs for six months. For more, see House of Hart on Facebook. Article first published March 20, 2018.