|William S. Burroughs|
"You can't show anyone anything he hasn't seen already, on some level - any more than you can tell anyone anything he doesn't already know. 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 one of the few exciting painters we have today."
"Well, the world is a haunted house, and Helnwein at times is our tour guide through it.
"How does a friendly person like Helnwein stand making his - excellent - painting into a mirror of the terrors of this century? Or is it that he can't stand not doing it? Does his mirror just reflect the attitude of the century?
|Professor Emeritus, Department of Art History, University of California, Berkeley - Former Curater at the Musem of Modern Art, New York||
"The paintings and pastels by Gottfried Helnwein appear to be photorealist. But unlike his sharp-focus colleagues, Helnwein's paintings carry powerful covert messages. He is a politically committed artist ... and in his case, you get more than what you see.
|Robert Flynn Johnson|
|Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco||
"For Helnwein, creativity is not a vocation but a mission. His subject matter is the human condition. The metaphor for his art is dominated by the image of the child, but not the carefree innocent child of popular imagination. Helnwein instead creates the profoundly disturbing yet compellingly provocative image of the wounded child. The child scarred physically and the child scarred emotionally from within."
|Harry S.Parker III|
|Director of Museums, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco||
"For Helnwein, the child is the symbol of innocence, but also of innocence betrayed. In today’s world, the malevolent forces of war, poverty, and sexual exploitation and the numbing, predatory influence of modern media assault the virtue of children.
|Curator for Contemporary Art at the State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg||
"I'll never forget the sensation I had at the unveiling of Gottfried Helnwein's "Kindskopf" (Head of a Child) in the Russian Museum.
|The Sunday Times||
"Again and again, he has painted children in brutal, violent settings. He has used Christian iconography to depict Nazi officers, and juxtaposed rampaging soldiers with Images of childhood innocence. Visceral reactions come with the territory: one Installation in Cologne was physically attacked by neo Nazis. And yet, he says, he does not set out to shock. "Shock is a useless effect," he says. "Somebody in shock is completely useless. I want to make somebody think."
|Curator for Photography, Rheinisches Landesmuseum, Bonn||
"Is it sheer coincidence that Gottfried Helnwein, the Austrian artist, created a portrait of both the German and the American? Coincidence, that he captured Warhol as a disturbing spectre on photograph, but painted Beuys?
|Director, Museum of Modern Art, Vienna||
"Warhol is the pre-Helnwein ... "
|Director, Lentos Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Linz||
"If anyone from Austrian Fine Art of the last fifty years could be called a star, then there is only one person who meets all the criteria: Gottfried Helnwein"
"Helnwein is a very fine artist and one sick motherfucker."
"Gottfried Helnwein is my mentor - on any artistic thing I've done.
" Helnwein is the next generation’s final ally, a skilled provocateur forcing us to confront the legacy we have bequeathed upon our children. Helnwein is our chronicler, our conscience, the antidote to our failing memories. He refuses to let us forget."
|critic, art-historian, professor at Tama Art Univ, Tokyo||
"Gottfried Helnwein's self-portraits in his "Black Mirror" series reach far beyond the boundaries of the ordinary self-portrait. They reflect the inner wants and desperation which lies within the viewer's own self. Helnwein points out the new form of the modern self-portrait which involves the creator and viewer alike."
|Chief Curator of Museums, Strasbourg||
"The Viennese Helnwein is part of a tradition going back to the 18th century, to which Messerschmidt's grimacing sculptures also belong, on which one of Freud's pupils wrote a long treatise.
|Curator, Museum of Modern Art New York||
"Gottfried Helnwein's paintings evoke complex layers of history and psychology. Working with extraordinary technical sophistication, Helnwein seamlessly fuses traditional craftsmanship and contemporary conceptual investigations."
|Art-critic, Oberösterreichische Nachrichten||
"Technische Meisterschaft und auch die Konsequenz einer packenden sozialkritischen Thematik offenbaren sich in dieser Ausstellung (Lentos Museum of Modern Art Linz, 2006): Gewalt, Schmerz, Verletzung werden dargestellt. Den Körper ebenso wie die Psyche betreffend. Helnwein dokumentiert hier einen künstlerischen Reifegrad, der eine weitere Steigerung kaum vorstellbar macht. Seine Eingriffe sind von einer schmerzhaften Unmittelbarkeit, deren emotionale Energie weit über die großen Bildformate hinaus den Raum und sein Publikum ergreift."
|Jewish Journal, Los Angeles||
"The most powerful images that deal with Nazism and Holocaust themes are by Anselm Kiefer and Helnwein, although, Kiefer's work differs considerably from Helnwein's in his concern with the effect of German aggression on the national psyche and the complexities of German cultural heritage. But Kiefer and Helnwein's work are both informed by the personal experience of growing up in post-war German speaking countries...
Quotes by Helnwein
Mixed Media on Canvas
Installations and Performances
Theatre and Film
Texts by Helnwein
Quotes by Helnwein