In marked contrast to the excessive flamboyance of Cleveland's collages stand the somber, minimal Portraits by the Austrian artist Gottfried Helnwein, whose recent paintings might easily be mistaken for dark, monochromic abstractions. An eclectic painter who works in a variety of styles because "life is too varied to be controlled under one approach", Helnwein also has established himself as a leading journalistic photographer, having produced covers for such magazines as "Rolling Stone" and "Time".
His dual career parhs have essentialy merged in the series "Fire", where each painting is a dark blue field within which is contained a barely discernible portrait of a famous countercultural rebel.
Helnwein's subjects are culled from the world of politics (Angela Davis, Che Guevara, Malcolm X), sports (Muhammad Ali), literature (Jean Genet, Arthur Rimbaud) and film (Marlon Brando, Bruce Lee), but the majority are from the arena of popular music (Miles Davis, Patti Smith, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, John Lennon, Jim Morrison, Elvis Presley, Lou Reed, Keith Richards, Don van Fleet, Sid Vicious and Frank Zappa).
The portraits of Hendrix, Joplin, and Lennon (plates 65 - 67) are particularly stirring because their ghostlike treatment translates as a poetic and humble tribute to major creative forces whose lives were tragically cut short.
As exemplified by the Paintings of Helnwein, the purpose of a contemporary rock and roll portrait may extend well beyond biographical signification to stimulating reflection upon larger issues of social or political consequence.
In the art of Jeff Koons, Jerry Kearns, and Leonard Mainor, for example, such images have been utilized to comment on the problematic topics of art- world economics, the downside of fame, and racial inequity.
More Helnwein articles related to Rock and Roll:
"A WORLD OF HORROR IN PICTURES." MARILYN MANSON COLLABORATES WITH LEGENDARY ARTIST GOTTFRIED HELNWEIN
Marilyn Manson and painter Gottfried Helnwein have joined forces to collaborate on a series of creations that are aimed at placing art on the edge, where it belongs. In the tradition of AKTION, the pair intend to have a powerful effect on the bland world of entertainment.
Helnwein's use of taboo subject matter has gained him respect and notoriety worldwide. Museums in NYC, Berlin, Vienna and Zurich are just a few locations where his challenging images have left controversy in their wake. He has worked with Marlena Dietrich and was chosen by Time Magazine to paint JFK on the 20th anniversary of his assassination.
The Simon Wiesenthal Foundation supported his work in Europe and here in Los Angeles, the Museum of Tolerance will be displaying a series of portraits that were vandalized by neo-fascists who labeled them "degenerate art."
His fight for expression and stance against oppression are reasons why Manson chose him as an artistic partner. Check the journal for candid pics and more.
TODAY I STARTED TO WORK WITH LEGENDARY PAINTER/ARTIST GOTTFRIED HELNWEIN
?Hurry please. The world is coming to an end and I have a lot to do.?
Today I started to work with legendary painter/artist Gottfried Helnwein.
Thanks to Cyril, his son, we met some time ago and are now collaborating.
Today: Lighting, camera tests, juggling.
I am too exhausted to reveal the details of our work but it is multi-media-prop chaos that I know will please many and enrage more. I am honored to work with him...and he is having a gallery exhibit this Thursday in LA that I will be attending.
As I promised, here are a couple of behind-the-scenes shots taken by Matt N., my art assistant. These are not representative of Helnwein?s work as he is primarily a painter.
1991 Los Angeles DAVID BOWIE, GOTTFRIED HELNWEIN IN LOS ANGELES
Helnwein meets with Keith Richards
KEITH RICHARDS IN EAST BERLIN, 1990
THE HELNWEIN-PICTURES IN MICHAEL JACKSON'S CD "HISTORY"
Cover-booklet: Michael Jackson,
Past, Present and Future
page 33: "Scream"-
("Das Lied / The Song" watercolor, 1980)
page 37: "Little Susie"-
("Lichtkind", photograph, grattage, 1972 )
1982 HELNWEIN SELF-PORTRAIT ON THE COVER OF THE SCORPIONS LP "BLACKOUT"
1982, auf ihrer zweiten US-Tour, mit Iron Maiden als Support Act, promoten die SCORPIONS als Headliner ihre bahnbrechende LP "Blackout", das Album mit dem spektakulären Helnwein-Cover. Die Single "No One Like You" und die "Blackout"- LP erreichen die Top Ten in den USA. Es gilt als das beste Hard Rock Album des Jahres und wird mit Platin ausgezeichnet.
BRIAN ENO AT THE OPENING OF THE HELNWEIN-RETROSPECTIVE
The State Russian Museum St Petersburg
RAMMSTEIN ALBUM "SEHNSUCHT" IS RELEASED WITH SIX DIFFERENT COVERS BY GOTTFRIED HELNWEIN
(P)© 1997 Motor Music GmbH, Hamburg
CD 537 304-2
released in Europe: 22th of July 1997
music & lyrics by RAMMSTEIN
Covers by Gottfried Helnwein
COVER FOR RAMMSTEIN, "STRIPPED"
The drawing "First Love" on the cover of the new RAMMS+EIN single "Stripped".
CD cover:Gottfried Helnwein, "First Love", 1993, colored pencil on paper
(P)© 1998 Motor Music GmbH, Hamburg
CD 044 141-2
released in Europe: 27th of July 1998
music & lyrics by Martin Lee Gore (Depeche Mode)
Cover painted by Gottfried Helnwein
05.Jul.1998 2nd FOTO-SESSION WITH RAMMSTEIN
Helnwein's studio, Castle Burg Brohl, Germany, July, 5, 1998
[go:] 2nd FOTO-SESSION WITH RAMMSTEIN
Lou Reed at Gottfried Helnwein's London show
The Daily Telegraph
THE LATE SHOW
A perfect stay: gallery opened specially for Lou Reed
The 24-hour city is already a reality for art-lover Lou Reed.
Reed was dining with a friend - the Austrian artist Gottfried Helnwein - on Sunday night, when he decided he wanted to see Helnwein's new show at the Robert Sandelson Gallery.
"I had just taken to my bed when I got a phone call from Gottfried", says Sandelson. "But I'm an old fan of Lou Reed so I went as I was and opened up at midnight." For nearly an hour, Sandelson stood in his nightwear and "yawned away while they analysed the pictures in detail".
Afterwards, he drove Reed back to his hotel where, the star explained, he was looking forward to doing tai chi exercises on the balcony at dawn.
A JAPANESE BAND NAMED HELNWEIN
Cool Junction : Indies Reference
A JAPANESE BAND NAMED HELNWEIN
"Racial Problem", Helnwein, Japan
MANSON: "IT IS ONE OF THE MOST AMAZING THINGS I?VE EVER SEEN"
"I acquired a Marlene Dietrich portrait from Helnwein that is signed by her" he says. "It is one of the most amazing things I?ve ever seen"
Marilyn Manson found himself in hospital this week, the victim of stress and exhaustion in the rush to get his next record out.
He tells fans at his official website "This week was strenuous and I landed myself in the hospital as a result of ?going too far? in the creation process. I am fine now and glad to be back in the studio.
HELNWEIN-PAINTING ON THE COVER OF PANKOW-CD "GISELA"
cover: "Peinlich",1971, watercolor
Contempo records, Firenze, Italy
Gottfried Helnwein, Rock and Roll Currents in Contemporary Art, Phoenix Art Museum
1995 Prestel, Munich - New York David s. Ruben