John Hiltunen began making collages in 2006. Before this time, John focused on rug making, wood work and ceramics. After participating in Paul Butler’s “Collage Party” in 2007, John’s collage work became a consistent artistic pursuit. His clever juxtapositions, which typically collide animal and human subjects mostly derived from fashion and natural history magazines, are provocative in their humor and yet surprisingly earnest in intention. Straightforward in their absurdity, John’s collages are naturally uncanny with cats, dogs, reptiles, and other wild animals looking posh in the latest fashions. In John’s world of animal-human hybrids, landscapes are turned on their side and runway models have furry ears or whiskers instead of pristine, camera-ready features. The transpositions are so cleverly paired—from the facial expression to the attitude of the pose—that one doesn’t need much convincing to believe these mash-ups are the chic characters they are portrayed to be.
In 2012, John’s work was the focus of a major group exhibition curated by Matthew Higgs at Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco. He has also exhibited at White Columns, New York, Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York, the San Francisco International Airport, Good Luck Gallery in Los Angeles, and had his work represented at contemporary art fairs like NADA Miami, the Independent, and Frieze New York. In 2013, he was honored as a recipient of the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation award, given to those artists whose work show promise, talent, and individual artistic strength but who have not yet received widespread recognition. In 2016, Books For All Press published John’s work in a limited edition artist’s book that was launched during New York Art Book Fair.
Born 1949, Sturgis, KY.