February 11, 2009
Mararian's Inky Dreadfuls
Michael Mararian
You know that question artists often get "If there was one artist you wish you were, who would it be?" Well, I would definitely NOT say Gottfried Helnwein. And it's not because he's an awful artist, he's breathtakingly talented, but it's his mind that unnerves me. I wonder if Mr. Helnwein read Dr. Seuss's "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" because even Dr. Seuss would be agog at the outcome. Don't get me wrong, this guy is no Charles Manson, or Ted Bundy by any stretch of the imagination but the sorrow and pain he manages to drill down into are devastatingly real and personal.
Check out the rest of the pieces from his The Disasters of War series from 2007 here. They are astounding. I don't much follow the rest of his Media work but these pieces (in addition to some of his older drawings) always make me smile. Which says a lot about me as well. So then fine, I'll say it...I wish I was Gottfreid Helnwein, okay? I've said it.
Andrew said...

Interesting comparison -- you both do seem to be compulsively interested in the intersection of the coldness of death with the naivety of childhood, but in very different ways.
The immediacy one gets from Helnwein hyper-realistic portrayals of death seem to be in an entirely different vein than the feeling I get from most pieces in your collection.
I tend to think of your work as capturing and retelling the exact moment in a past adventure of yesteryear when things went horribly wrong.
Conversely, much of Helnwein's work seems to reference death and decay scientifically, in a fashion similar to Philadelphia's Mütter Museum at times.
His self portrait depicting himself as a Nazi officer in blackface... well, I don't know even where to begin with that one.
Pardon all the stating of the obvious. I guess in short I'm saying that continuing to increase the physical size of your work could be the ticket to smashing your Austrian counterpart!
February 11, 2009 4:52 PM

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