Interviews
October 16, 2012
Esquire
Latinoamerica
Sandra Cerisola
Interview with Gottfried Helnwein
English Version
GH: People are constantly bombarded with millions of images of the daily horror from around the world, through mass media, television, internet, which makes us feel helpless, because it tells us there is nothing we can do about it. Art is the exact opposite; with art you can approach any subject, no matter how horrible, because aesthetics can transcend and transform any uglyness, into something beautiful, it can elevate, inspire and might be able to open doors to understanding. My images always dealt with what's happening around me, I wasn’t making things up. From early childhood on when I looked at people around me I perceived them as suffering in some way, without being conscious about it. I thought that most people seemed to be somewhat damaged , and that’s what I started to show in my paintings.
ESQUIRE: I think that the way you create your work context –a space between reality and fiction, kind of a subtle distortion of reality- is a very effective way to touch people’s sensibility. If it was just a documentary image maybe it would only add up to the images we see in newspapers, television, etc.
GH: People are constantly bombarded with millions of images of the daily horror from around the world, through mass media, television, internet, which makes us feel helpless, because it tells us there is nothing we can do about it.
Art is the exact opposite; with art you can approach any subject, no matter how horrible, because aesthetics can transcend and transform any uglyness, into something beautiful, it can elevate, inspire and might be able to open doors to understanding. My images always dealt with what's happening around me, I wasn’t making things up.
From early childhood on when I looked at people around me I perceived them as suffering in some way, without being conscious about it. I thought that most people seemed to be somewhat damaged , and that’s what I started to show in my paintings.




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