60 WRD/MIN ART CRITIC
Blake Hiltunen
10/2/10 4:33 PM

What kind of art might a queen bee hang in her honeycomb palace? If she were a good ruler, she surely would champion an art that celebrated the labor of her workers and the sweet nectar of their endless production. If she were a sophisticated ruler, she would no doubt patronize an artist with as minimalist and sensitive a touch as Blake Hiltunen. The ornate golden frames and dripping canvases that Hiltunen has created through layer upon layer of beeswax speak both through their material and their process of labor—the labor of the bees who secrete that wax, the labor of the artist who painstakingly built it up to create these works. But labor isn’t everything, and even a laboring man or woman needs to put their muscles to rest at some point and renew themselves through the senses. Hiltunen provides for that too, again through the use of beeswax, which gives off a perfume unlike any other, glows subtly golden, and provides the softest, smoothest of surfaces (even if you can’t actually touch it). Now all the queen needs to do is open the doors of her palace and let the workers in…

—Lori Waxman
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