Flaunt Magazine, Los Angeles, 19. March
CULTURE TO THE SAVAGE
photographed by Alex Prager
Larger-than-life artist Gottfried Helnwein's exhibitions have been protested,
banned, vandlized, and honored for the last 35 years.
If you are already familiar with Gottfried Helnwein then you proably knew more than I do about art, and I apologize on behalf of the commercially saturated masses.
Helnwein is a ridiculously talented artist. That is basically all you need to
know. Anything you could imagine art doing for you, or to you, any feeling it
might instill in you or emotion it might remove from you, he captures, then cripples,
reformats, and pastes into the cleft pallet of a 20-foot-tall gray-scale rendition
of a deformed fetus soaking in formaldehyde.
The essence of realism and ability that every art major ever clamored to grasp,
he manages to expel onto canvas with apparent ease. He produces paintings, and
photographs that you can't help but wish you could recreate with the same vision,
depth, and intrigue. His art is without gimmick and his persona is without persona.
Helnwein is simply someone who enjoys creating, and has been doing a pretty damn
good job at it for 35 years.
In brief, very brief, he's gone from the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna to
photographing the Rolling Stones and Andy Warhol to making subjects out of
Klansmen, Disney characters, and Malcolm X. He's had exhibitions protested,
banned, vandalized, and honored, and his portrait of Kennedy was on the cover
magazine. He's exhibited everywhere from galleries on Finland, Japan, Russia,
and London to museums like MoMA and the Smithsonian. He uses everything from
oils, acrylics, computers, inks, crayons, costumes, and set design; and his
work has inspired articles, films, television shows, and books. Even down to
the only thing you late on the fashion bandwagon, rock T-shirt-clad readers
might be familiar with, the bandaged-faced, forked-eyed self-portrait on that
Scorpions album "Blackout" (which, regardless of our opinion on the
quality of the music, is still a sick picture), Helnwein has managed to master
So why is it you may never have heard of such a brilliant purveyor of radical
work? Well. my guess would be that you're as American as I am, and, like most
Americans, don't really know anything about fine art and couldn't on your best
day name five living artists who aren't involved in graffiti, fashion photography,
or painting things with feces. A concept which doesn't seem to bother Helnwein,
who joins his unique position of slight anonymity and total freedom in a world
of constant celebrity.
Visit link for complete article: