April 17, 2008
Is Gottfried Helnwein an artist or a provocateur?
Let us answer by means of an amusing anecdote. Several years ago we were walking down the Kantstrasse in Berlin when a speeding automobile ran up onto the sidewalk, struck us from behind, and then proceeded to us several hundred feet up the steet. Helnwein was behind the wheel. Then, when we finally came out of our coma, Helnwein burst into our hospital room and struck us a glancing blow with a croquet mallet. Finally, Helnwein marked our release from the hospital by hiring a mime troupe to beat us up. And not in mime, either. With their real fists. Helnwein called the resulting piece Someone Has to Suffer For My Art, and It's Not Going to Be Me.

A friend, looking over my shoulder said, "It looks like you are reading heavy stuff, stuff about being doomed all of the time."
Definitely art!
Plus G.H. is no hack. He has strong credentials and massive turnouts for his exhibitions.
"It is the function of the artist to evoke the experience of surprised recognition: to show the viewer what he knows but does not know that he knows. Helnwein is a master of surprised recognition." [William S. Burroughs]
Posted by: Phil Core | April 17, 2008 at 03:43 PM
Beautiful Victim I
watercolor on cardboard, 1974, 53 x 73 cm / 20 x 28''

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