News Update
December 30, 2010
PublicArt
Art Magazine Korea
Jung Il-joo
managing Editor
Gottfried Helnwein - A Surrealistic Reinterpretation of Violence and the Grotesque
Viewers as well as critics describe his work as grotesque, audacious, shocking, and insulting. One who sees him in person is rather surprised at the fact that he is sane. His works are largescale, photorealistic paintings of horror. The artist has worked in diverse genres including watercolor, oil, and installation. However, his work's primary theme has always referenced his childhood. He does not render the beauty of childhood but spits an audacious, persistent interpretation of war, crime, damage, and holocaust. In "Adoration of the Magi", painted in 1996, for example, five men in Gestapo-like uniforms encircle a baby interpreted as Jesus or Hitler. Helnwein projects his weird vision without hesitation. Despite this uncanny quality, his works gain a high reputation, and are collected by many prestigious art museums around the world, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Smithsonian Museum.
PublicArt, Korea
2011
PublicArt, Korea
2011
PublicArt, Korea
2011
PublicArt, Korea
2011
A Surrealistic Reinterpretation of Violence and the Grotesque
Article by Jung llioo, Managing Editor. Photo Courtesy Gottfried Helnwein
"The possibility of striking salient points is inherent in art. It is art that it is able to draw out something all have in their minds but nobody wants to see." Gottfried Helnwein is confident of the force peculiar to art exerts this force, exquisitely delineating scenes that seem derived from illusions or nightmares. A native of Austria, Helnwein presented his trenchant pursuit of our inner corners, black humors, and elevated desires, after leaving his Irish castle and settling in a gloomy block of Los Angeles, USA. Under the unsetting sun in LA and its unrealistic beauty, he lures the general public, unrestrictedly transcending the boundaries of many genres such as watercolor, oil, photography, performing art, and sculpture.
Figures in his work, such as a girl with a bloodstained bandage on her head, a boy with a pistol pointed at a doll's head and a gunman with a black, raged face, reveal his theme of the hidden face. He conceals his facial expressions and intention with dark eyeglasses and a bandanna around his forehead. Viewers as well as critics describe his work as grotesque, audacious, shocking, and insulting. One who sees him in person is rather surprised at the fact that he is sane. This is why he works in paintings as elaborate as photographs with subject matter such as bandages, wounded kids, torture scenes, stagnant blood, and agonizing faces. His work reinterpreting violent and grotesque scenes and figures through a surrealistic idiom is a product of his depiction of urban gloominess and disorder.
Helnwein seeks the fabricated realities of electronic games and animation. His studio is jampacked with CDs, hundreds of dolls, rubber figures, comic scenes, and rubber dolls which are models for his paintings, through which he generates his shockingly real artificiality.
His works are largescale, photorealistic paintings of horror. The artist has worked in diverse genres including watercolor, oil, and installation. However, his work's primary theme has always referenced his childhood. He does not render the beauty of childhood but spits an audacious, persistent interpretation of war, crime, damage, and holocaust. In "Adoration of the Magi", painted in 1996, for example, five men in Gestapo-like uniforms encircle a baby interpreted as Jesus or Hitler. Helnwein projects his weird vision without hesitation. Despite this uncanny quality, his works gain a high reputation, and are collected by many prestigious art museums around the world, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Smithsonian Museum.
He is really a monster artist who has attained considerably great achievements in almost all fields, such as painting, photography, sculpture, and performance. He has consistently evolved his subversive thinking, replacing "Adoration of the Magi", a primary icon of the New Testament with Nazi officials and an Aryan woman.




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