The provocative, disquieting, and often controversial work of Austrian born fine artist, Gottfried Helnwein is internationally renowned. Incorporating themes of pain and violence while melding the emotional overtures of virtue and beauty emerge into a visually haunting existence.
Throughout his established career, Helnwein has worked as a painter, photographer, sculptor, as well as an installation and performance artist, accruing an extensive catalog of exhibitions and publications dating back to the 1970’s. Having studied at the University of Visual Art in Vienna, Helnwein who now lives and works in Ireland and Los Angeles, dominates a nearly corporeal perspective of the physically and psychologically wounded. With his focus being the presentation of the child, his affluence for beautifully penetrating portraiture leaves viewers in a state of ensnared admiration and trepidation. His hyperreal renderings shadowed with downcast expressions, wandering tormented souls, ceremonial despair, and blood soaked bandages reminiscent of the stigmata convey an effectively painted experience… one after another.
Helnwein’s masterful composition and technical approach remains etched in thought, injecting a pervasive intensity in the vein of vulnerable humanity. Brimming with somber tones, sociological anxiety, historical issues, and unique visions of darkness, his distinctive approach and powerful imagery continue to be a source of both extraordinary inspiration and speculation.