Luke was born in 1982 in Minneapolis MN. In 2006 he left his work as a land surveyor and began painting full time, with Rembrandt and Odd Nerdrum books open next to his empty canvas. Luke immersed himself in apprenticeship, studying with Nerdrum, and traveling to museums and studios around the world to learn from the paintings of the old Masters whose tradition he seeks to follow.

Luke uses the palette of the Ancient Greek fresco painter Apelles, and paints from life using his friends as models, as well as the taxidermied animals he collects on his travels. His paintings illustrate the primal beauty of humans at their best and most noble. Their narratives tend to center around themes of death, kinship, ritual, and interactions with wilderness.

Luke Hillestad is represented by The Rymer Gallery in Nashville, the L'oeil du Prince Gallery in Paris, and Flanders and Rogue Buddha galleries in Minneapolis. His work has also been exhibited in Florida, Chicago, Norway, and Germany.
• 2016 Myth - Helikon Gallery - Denver, Colorado

2016 AEON: Portraits of Youth and Age  -  at Douglas Flanders and Associates - Solo Show

2015 Odd Nerdrum and School  - The European Museum of Modern Art (MEAM)

2015 Scope Festival in Miami - Copro Gallery Booth

2015 Dax Gallery. Costa Mesa, CA. With Odd Nerdrum, Scott Hess and others

2015 Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery presents 20 Years Under the Influence of Juxtapoz - Group show

2015 Rymer Gallery - ANIMA - Solo Show

2014 Copro Gallery - "Pupils of Apelles" w/ Odd Nerdrum

2014 Douglas Flanders & Associates - Graven Image - Solo Show

2014 Co Exhibitions Gallery - Holdfast III: Effigy and Exile - Group Show  

2013 Galerie L'oeil du Prince - Group Show - Paris, France

2013 The Rymer Gallery - Nashville

2013 Hold Fast II - Group Show

2012 The Rymer Gallery - Nashville

2012 Rogue Buddha Gallery - Parables of Mutation - Solo Show

2012 Cult Status Gallery - Vital Flesh - Group Show

2011 St John's University - Recognition

2011 Head to Toe Salon - Hold Fast - Group Show

2011 The Groveland Gallery - Group Show

2011 Naples Museum of Art - Group Show - Naples, Florida

2011 The Rymer Gallery - What We Carry - Solo Show - Nashville

2011 Rogue Buddha Gallery - Group Show

2011 Hennes Art Company - Group Show

2011 Traffic Zone Gallery - Convergence  - Solo Show

2010 Orchard Art House - Group Show

2010 Vine Arts Center - Phantom Limb - Solo Show

2010 Sotheby's, Edina - Solo Show

2010 Thomas Masters - Group Show - Chicago

2008 Pasinger Fabrik - Kitschbiennale - Group Show - Munich, Germany

2008 Kjell Raugland Gallery - Group Show - Larvik, Norway

2008 Homewood Gallery - Solo Show

2007 Flanders Gallery - Solo Show



** Shows located in Minneapolis unless specified