|David M. Roth|
|Northern California Art||
"To those who maintain that art has become toothless for not asking the big questions, Helnwein stands out for having credibly staked out the moral high ground. "
|Klaus Albrecht Schroeder|
|Director of the Albertina Museum, Vienna||
"It is hard to deny, that the aggression- and vulnerability-symbolism of Helnwein's well-known and multiple-varied selfportrait of a bandaged head, eyes blinded by surgical forks and mouth opened wide to form a scream; is something of a self-evident metaphor for an elementary human stipulation of today's existence."
"Helnwein is a genius with a great feeling for the closeness of love and death"
|Los Angeles Times||
"What Helnwein creates, regardless the medium - watercolor, oil, photography, performance art, sculpture - is a thorny psychological excursion into our sublimated self, our obscured corners and dark humors. His explorations into war crimes, Catholicism, disfigurement and the Holocaust are both unflinching and surgical. His work is in museum collections around the world, including those of LACMA and the Smithsonian, and critics have labeled it grotesque, fearless, disturbing and veer[ing] dangerously close to offensive. 'People are surprised', he says, when they discern that he doesn't seem insane."
"Helnwein is the most important living painter."
|San Francisco Chronicle, Arts and Culture Critic||
"Adults bring a trunkful of contradictory cultural baggage to any representations of children. That's what makes the work of Helnwein so powerful. In his show, "The Child," at the San Francisco Fine Arts Museum, deformed infants and bandaged children stir feelings of pity, defiance and uneasiness about exploitation. There's an ambiguously disturbing painting of a girl aiming a gun into an open refrigerator and another of a bare-breasted mother and child surrounded by Aryan soldiers.
"As long ago as 1963 a fellow-artist and I imagined the horrible future of a free-lance artist.
|New York Times||
"With titles like ‘‘The Murmur of the Innocents’’ and ‘‘God of Sub-Humans,’’ these works — executed with obsessive, old-master-worthy technique — can be as bludgeoning as, say, a Rammstein riff, but you can’t take your eyes off them"
|Leiter der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin, Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin||
"Die Zurschaustellung des eigenen Körpers als Verwesungsmasse beginnt mit den Selbstporträts von George Grosz als Suizidgestalt im Kaffeehaus und reicht über die wie durch den Fleischwolf gedrehten Konterfeis eines Francis Bacon bis hin zur Leichenfledderei am eigenen Leib bei Günter Brus, Kurt Kren oder Frank Tovey, dem jüngst verstorbenen Enfant terrible der experimentellen New-Wave-Szene der 1980er Jahre. Die Befreiung des melancholischen Bewusstseins durch den Tod bietet keine philosophische Perspektive mehr. Es ist ihm ohnedies schon anheim gefallen. Stattdessen wird der Suizid in einer Performance masochistischer Selbstverstümmelung kultisch sublimiert.
|Governor of California||
"Gottfried Helnwein is a genius!"
|Comic-artist, writer, creator of Donald Duck and Scrooge Mc Duck||
"Gottfried Helnwein is the world's Finest Artist"
"Helnwein ist eine Art Allegorie der Umstrittenheit."
|Author, founder and publisher of the German feminist journal EMMA||
"..Wir wenden aber immer wieder den Blick ab von seinen Kindern. dabei sind sie die verstörendsten Bilder des Malers Gottfried Helnwein: von den in süssen Farben gepinselten Aquarelle der frühen 70er Jahre, die meist geschändete, brutalisierte Mädchen zeigen - bis hin zu den überlebensgrossen, fotorealistischen Installationen der letzten Jahre, in denen er einer erstarrten Erwachsenenwelt den Spiegel ihrer verschütteten Kindheit vorhält. Bei Helnwein werden Wunden zu Waffen. Von Anbeginn an sind die Bilder des in Wien geprägten, und heute in Amerika arbeitenden Malers von Protesten und Skandalen begleitet gewesen, was Helnwein nicht überrascht, doch: " Es ist nicht mein Bild, vor dem sich die Leute fürchten, sondern ihre eigenen Bilder in ihren Köpfen."
|The Rolling Stones||
"Over the years Gottfried Helnwein has developed a unique style and today he is one of the greatest artists of the world."
"I have a phenomenal admiration for Helnwein's work."
|director, writer, producer||
"Gottfried is a genius, and possibly my favorite living artist"
|German industrial metal band||
"We decided to choose the photographs of Helnwein for our cover artwork. We really like his attitude towards art and the way he presented us. It turned out that a picture of a band can be something different, - real art."
|Novelist, artist, art-critic||
"This was the moment when I sensed for the first time', Helnwein has since written, '[that] you can change something with aesthetics, you can get things moving in a very subtle way, you can get even the powerful and strong to slide and totter, anything actually if you know the weak points and tap at them ever so gently by aesthetic means.' For the following three-and-a-half decades he has relentlessly pursued that goal, masterfully incorporating everything from painting to performance to photography, regularly causing art world outcry and public fury. Yet, his art is successful less for its evident tendency to provoke than for its extraordinary ability to perplex.
|The Prague Post||
"An alternative title to 'Angels Sleeping' for this exhibition could be “All Hail to the Wounded Child,” as many of the works center on irreparably wounded children (both externally and internally) as the innocent victims of war. The children in Helnwien’s works may also represent the lost or destroyed child in all of us, not only as victims of war, but as victims of modern society, with all its mindless violence and perverse attraction to aggressive mobs and disturbances. If there were a soundtrack to this exhibition, it would be a long, endless scream."
|New Statesman, UK||
"Gottfried Helnwein's latest exhibition, "Face It", is the artist's first show in his native Austria since 1985. A retrospective of 40 works from the 1970s to the present, it is more shocking than the Royal Academy's infamous "Sensation" of 1997. Helnwein aims to disturb not with, say, an elephant-dung Madonna, as Chris Ofili did then, but with a far more controversial Virgin. Of all his paintings, the most disturbing is Epiphany (1996), for which he dips into our collective memory of Christianity's most famous birth. This Austrian Catholic Nativity scene has no magi bearing gifts. Madonna and child are encircled by five respectful Waffen SS officers palpably in awe of the idealised, kitsch-blonde Virgin. The Christ toddler, who stands on Mary's lap, stares defiantly out of the canvas. Helnwein's baby Jesus is Adolf Hitler. "
Quotes by Helnwein
Mixed Media on Canvas
Installations and Performances
Theatre and Film
Texts by Helnwein
Quotes by Helnwein