Art in America – February 1, 2003
Gottfried Helnwein's extensive 1997 retrospective at the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg gave visitors an overview of his work going back to his street actions in Vienna in the 1970s, his grimacing iconic self-portraits that suggest self-mutilation, and on to his menacing canvases depicting the evils of the Third Reich.
He has worked as a painter. draftsman, photographer, muralist, sculptor and performance artist. His work is consistently concerned with psychological anxiety.
In his new series of paintings, done in somber monochrome blues, he continues to work with singulae sense of suspense and mystery.
Pittsburgh Tribune Review – January 31, 2003
Although cartoons and caricatures have played an important role in Western culture since the Middle Ages, the development of the comic strip and comic books are a unique American phenomenon and has contributed significantly to American visual culture.
...Gottfried Helnwein's "American Prayer," which is a large hyper-realistic painting of a boy kneeling in bedtime prayer to a large and looming Donald Duck.
About Helnwein's piece: Clark says, "In many ways, this is the signature piece for this whole show, because it shows how cartoon imagery has entered our culture, our world, our daily life."
Süddeutsche Zeitung – 4. Januar 2003
Lou Reed über Horror
SZ: Deutlicher: Ist die Beschäftigung mit dem Horror Edgar Allan Poes und die Beschäftigung mit dem Raben "Nimmermehr" eine Therapie für Sie?
Lou Reed: Glaube ich nicht. Vielleicht ist es ja eine Therapie für Sie.
SZ: Grundsätzlich kann es ja trostreich sein, sich mit dem Dunklen . . .
Lou Reed: . . . das ist keine Therapie für mich. Kennen Sie Gottfried Helnwein?
SZ: Den österreichischen Künstler?
Lou Reed: Ja, Gottfried Helnwein.
SZ: Nicht persönlich. Einige seiner Sachen kenne ich, ja.
Lou Reed: Mögen Sie seine Sachen?
Lou Reed: Aha.
Lou Reed: Er ist ein Freund von mir.
SZ: Ist er das?
Lou Reed: Ja. Er hat ein wunderbares Bild von Poe gemalt...
Russia – November 30, 2002
LUDWIG MUSEUM IN THE RUSSIAN MUSEUM
LUDWIG MUSEUM IN THE RUSSIAN MUSEUM
The Ludwig Museum in the Russian Museum was opened on March, 10 1995 and is a vivid transportation of the idea of the general context in which the present-day art process develops.
The State Russian Museum in collaboration with the Ludwig Museum keeps organizing modern art exhibitions in the Russian Museum. "German Neoexpressionism from the Sanders Collection", "Gottfried Heinwein", "Installation by Brian Eno" are only a few examples of exhibitions which have been organized within the framework of the project.
Artweek, Volume 33, Issue 12 – November 30, 2002
"Downtown", Modernism Gallery, 2002
"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 as his knockout exhibition at Modernism last October made clear, his art is successful less for its evident tendency to provoke than for its extraordinary ability to perplex.
www.madblast.com – October 9, 2002
"The Rules of Attraction", interview, 2002
To help promote their controversial film, "Rules of Attraction", writer/director Roger Avary and producer Greg Shapiro contracted artist Gottfried Helnwein to create an image for the poster. Helnwein chose to recreate a scene where a girl commits suicide and Lauren (Shannyn Sossamon) discovers her body. In the studio shot, it almost looks like Sossamon is kissing the dead girl.
Since the suicide is a wrist slitting in the bathtub, the girl is nude and therefore the shot couldn't be used for wide release posters. The one you see displayed in theaters features stuffed animals in compromising positions, but Helnwein's poster did make it onto the soundtrack CD and other outlets. Helnwein himself spoke with Madblast about his work.
OK! magazine, United Kingdom – August 28, 2002
OK! magazine, United Kingdom, 2002
Tamara joins Arnold Schwarzenegger to party with the art
Some of his work is disturbing to say the least, and has been described as "the visual equivalent of a contact sport". He uses art as a way to fight back at society, his pictures forcing people to face things they might prefer to forget about.
Children feature heavily, as do bandages and chilling images from the wartime era. All very challanging, yet fascinating.
The Beverly Hills Courier – June 14, 2002
Installation "Selektion - Ninth of November Night"
"This is a very serious and somewhat disturbing exhibition," said Mayor Meralee Goldman, who is supportive of the exhibit and was first approached by the Austrian artist.
"There is an important component of education to go along with this exhibit," Human Relations Director Mary O'Gorman said. "This is a Holocaust Memorial, and the intent at times is to overwhelm."
The exhibit is described as "an art event to focus the conscience of the viewer and, through media exposure, the conscience of the widest possible public" by the artist's draft proposal. "An art installation a city block long...will rise into public view to cry out against not only one of history's most tragic and horrific episodes of prejudice, but also against the current resurgence of the endangerment of children through intolerance around the world."
The Mercury News – March 28, 2002
The Mercury News, 2002
'The Portrait Obscured," the current exhibit at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, where 19 artists have all but forgone the portrait entirely in their pursuit of it.
The exhibit's signature pieces are two paintings by the Austrian painter Gottfried Helnwein.
A bit of perceptual sleight of hand, two seemingly blue-black canvases on close inspection reveal portraits of John Lennon and Bruce Lee.
Portraits obscured, to be sure, and perhaps a meditation on how unknowable are the famous by their famous faces.
The Irish Times – August 20, 2001
Installation at the Kilkenny Arts Festival 2001
THIS YEAR'S KILKENNY ARTS FESTIVAL HELPED TAKE CHALLENGING WORK OUT OF THE GALLERY AND ONTO THE STREETS
The point of the images is that they put it up to you as a viewer. Given that, one potential line of criticism is that they are designed solely to be provocative, like Marcus Harvey's portrait of Myra Hindley. But the abiding strength of Helnwein's work is that provocation is a means rather than an end; it is - however uncomfortable - morally grounded, if not necessarily in a way that will please all observers.