Vince, his work is represenational, yes. But it is not realism, at least not realism in the sense I believe you use the word.
(I could be wrong...)
Much of Helnwein's work is based on photographs taken years ago--photographs that the artist did not take.
The images are often chosen and/or arranged for their conceptual power.
This is absolutely not technique for technique's sake. This is technique serving a specific vision.