Gottfried Helnwein began his formal training in art when he was admitted in1969 to the Vienna Academy of Art, where for four years he immersed himself in the structure and the process of making art. There, in one of the great ateliers of the world, he interacted with fellow artists and expanded his creative imagination into the areas for which he is best known today. He explored the use of politics, society, history, media, news, and the so-called trivial world of comics, advertising, and rock and roll as a means of addressing in his work the subject matter of war, violence, and a manipulative ruling society. Building on painting and drawing, the foundation of his work, he added the medium of photography. At this time he also became interested in taking his art out into the streets and confronting the world in an a form of art called Aktions, which now is generally referred to as performance art. All these pursuits interacted in Helnwein's work, with a photograph inspiring a watercolor or a painting inspiring an Aktion. The result is a multi-layered body of work that delivers in a variety of mediums the same message of resistance and challenge to the dysfunctional post-war society in which Helnwein came of age.