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Collage Genius, John Hiltunen

My inspiration for the Rainbow’s Edge Dress image is one of my favorite artists, John Hiltunen (1949-2020).

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My inspiration for the Rainbow’s Edge Dress image is one of my favorite artists, John Hiltunen (1949-2020). I’m blown away by his beguiling collage work featuring high fashion models, luscious landscapes and animal heads all clipped from magazines.

John created works for many years at Creative Growth, an extraordinary working studio in Oakland, California. Creative Growth offers support and mentorship that “advances the inclusion of artists with developmental disabilities in contemporary art and strengthens community by providing a supportive studio environment and gallery representation.“

Hiltunen’s work is both clever and anchored in harmonious image choice and composition. There is also a poignancy and precision to his works; the relationships between the collage subjects and their environments (as well as their new heads) feels oddly natural in his hands.

Matthew Higgs, Director of White Columns Gallery says “I’ve never seen a bad collage by John. He was so gifted with these juxtapositions. He was one of the great collage artists of the modern era, along with [Kurt] Schwitters and Hannah Hoch. He had this extraordinary skill, talent, with what seemed to be quite limited materials, quite a reductive palette.”

Check out the incredible roster of artists and treasures that is Creative Growth. Every visit is an inspiring pleasure!

– Todd

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