Karin Hillmer was born and raised in Germany. Already early in life she began experimenting with collages which later extended to her photographic process. After graduating with diplomas in French and English, she left Germany for a brief stop in Brussels and then settled in London. It was there that she reconnected with her earlier interest in art, finding inspiration in the halls of great museums and obscure galleries alike. Then her determination brought her to New York, where she felt that she had greater opportunity to accomplish her goals.
In New York, she studied Art History and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the State University of New York (SUNY Purchase). At that time she also took studio classes in painting, drawing and black and white photography. It was then that she developed her own collage-style within the medium of photography. For the first several years, her images were created in black and white until she switched to color in the 1990s.
In numerous post-graduate studies she complemented her knowledge in various disciplines. Thanks to her natural curiosity and perpetual experimentation she mastered the technique of the fragmented images by using glass plates to create unexpected reflections and multiple layers of surfaces. She paints with watercolor on glass and combines that with cut out words, figures and forms. Objects began to take on their own certainty and new realities were created in an unreal universe. Through her business knowledge in the fields of technology and biotechnology she brings novel concepts and developments to her work, which are combined in a unique way with historic elements. She is a painter, a photographer and above all a storyteller. Her pictures represent a new reality, maybe“surreality”, shaped by lifelong interest in philosophy, history, art, invention, music and science. Her images combine the avant-garde with the historic, have a deep intellectual reference, are enigmatic and humorous, mysterious and original, combine Renaissance and technology, genetics and Botticelli.
Today Karin Hillmer has embraced digital photography which provides almost no restrictions to her creativity. This new expression is only limited by the imagination of the artist and the expertise of using the technology. Her images are printed with ultrachrome archival inks on archival papers which are expected to last over 100 years. Her work has been shown internationally in museums and galleries, with solo exhibitions in Germany, France and the United States. Karin’s work can be found in numerous private collections throughout the world. The most recent acquisition of her work was made by the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, Connecticut, USA.