August 3, 2004
Arts Journal
Visual Arts
Adding To The Discussion
Adding To The Discussion Gottfried Helnwein is an artist whose work - "giant color portraits of stillborn babies, paintings that merge Nazi-archive photographs with pictures Helnwein has taken, enigmatic portrayals of apparently wounded or menaced children" - tends to provoke strong reactions, and in recent years, several individuals have expressed their displeasure with some of his images by defacing them. Helnwein confesses to being initially startled by the vandalism, but these days, he has decided that the viewer has as much to contribute to the larger discussion as the artist, and if people are moved to destroy what he has created, he can at least salute their passion.

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