"The Darker Side of Playland" Childhood Imagery from the Logan Collection, exhibition catalogue – September 1, 2000
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 2000
(excerpt) Other works in the exhibition present the dark side of cartoon characters. The prevailing narrative structure of many cartoons is a cycle of one's character's unrelenting attacks on another. Yet the violence of these scenarios is subverted and humor achieved by the lack of any permanent injury to the victim and the gleeful nonchalance of the adversary even during the most aggressive assault. Static representations of wounded or menacing cartoon characters can expose the violence and eliminate the humorous punch line. In Gottfried Helnwein's painting Mickey (plate 24), Mickey Mouse's physical features, which usually contribute to his appeal become a thin veneer of looming attack. Blown up to a monster scale and rendered in an austere gray palette, Mickey's smile is deceptive.
Omnibucket, US – June 15, 2000
Cyril Helnwein chats with Klaus Meine and Rudolf Schenker of the legendary rock band, The Scorpions, June 2006:
Klaus Meine: "Blackout" was an amazing cover, it was so powerful, and it was a real piece of art. We were always interested in having rock n roll and art really close together. "Blackout" became a signature artwork for the Scorpions and it still is a classic to this day all over the world. It stands out as one of the best albums we did and we're very proud of it.
Jewish Chronicle, London – June 2, 2000
One-man show at the Robert Sandelson Gallery, London, 2000
London show for Gottfried Helnwein, Artist's haunting Nazi-era Images
Austrian artist Gottfired Helnwein's powerful and haunting paintings provide a disturbing commentary on Nazism and the Holocaust, regularly provoking outraged reactions from right-wingers in his native land and in Germany. "I was amazed how much pictures could reach into the hearts and minds of people - and how much they would talk to me about it," he told the JC. "For me, art is like a dialogue. My art is not giving answers, it is asking questions."
REUTERS City, International / Art – June 1, 2000
One Man Show, Robert Sandelson Gallery, 2000
A year or so back, an exhibition called Sensations caused a few upsets, first in London and then in New York. Central to the reaction was a large-scale portrait of a child-killer assembled from, if I remember correctly, the palm prints of children. So far, so bland. The shock element in art has been much talked about in the last five years but art that actually shocks has been thin on the ground during the same period.
Step forward then, Gottfried Helnwein.
By and large, if art is going to shock, it better have something shocking to say,and it's clear that Helnwein has found that.
Dazed and Confused, London – May 31, 2000
Dazed and Confused, London, 2000
Helnwein, the controversial Austrian artist whose works is currently on show at the Robert Sandelson gallery in London, has always been a difficult personality to pin down. As a young man in 1969, when most Western teenagers were smoking dope and taking acid, he was busy speaking out against the latent fascism embedded at the heart of Austrian society. A keen believer in the value of expressive freedom, he was expelled from the experimental school of the Higher Graphic Institution in Vienna for painting a portrait of Adolf Hitler in his own blood.
What's On, London – May 17, 2000
Gottfried Helnwein, LONDON, 2000
A blonde Madonna, dressed as if she were spending an evening at the opera, presents her child to the watchful eyes of Nazi SS Guards, One officer looks as if he were studying the child's genitals, perhaps to see whether he has been circumcised. Dark hair parted severely to one side and fleshy baby cheeks lending a slight and comical hangdog expression, the young child presents something of an eerie resemblance to the Führer.
The Guardian – May 16, 2000
One-man show at the Robert Sandelson Gallery, London, 2000
Kate Connolly meets Gottfried Helnwein, the Austrian who is still confronting his country's Nazi past. It could have been worse. At least he doesn't look like his self-portraits, in which bandages swathe his head, bent forks pull his mouth into a mocking smile and blood drenches his torso. Helnwein, 52, is a master of the scandalous and the art of shocking. The artist Robert Crumb once said of him: "Helnwein is a very fine artist and one sick motherfucker." "You can get things moving in a very subtle way, you can get even the strong and powerful to slide and totter - anything, actually, if you know the weak points and tap at them ever so gently by aesthetic means."
i-D Magazine, London – April 30, 2000
i-D Magazine, London, 2000
The current issue of Camera Austria consists entirely of blank, black pages, with "österreich 2000" written simply in the top right hand corner of each. Nothing demonstrates more effectively the shock of Austria's artistic community at the electoral success of Jörg Haider and his right wing Freedom Party, but this does not apply to Gottfried Helnwein.
The Austin Chronicle – April 14, 2000
The Austin Chronicle, 2000
This made perfect sense, I thought, considering the visuals attached to their recent album Sehnsucht: portraits of the band by Gottfried Helnwein, the brilliant German artist whose gauze-wrapped and fork-embellished self-portrait had been an album cover for the Scorpions -- you know the one I'm talking about?
Helnwein had photographed the Rammstein faces after mangling and compromising them with arcane medical apparatus; and here I was, with my back mangled and compromised, being photographed by arcane medical apparatus! How very synchronistic it all was!
Why, Helnwein was probably out there right now, conducting the band in their concerted hammerstrikes, perhaps even forming a mini mosh pit with my wife or discussing the finer points of arcane medical apparatus-based face-mangling with the MRI tech! Of course! And there were streamers, too! Multicolored streamers that descended from the antiseptic rafters and twisted and shimmered like silken snakes dancing in time to the music ...
TANK Magazine – February 1, 2000
one man show at Robert Sandelson Gallery, London, 2000
These paintings are about America, I guess from a very European point of view.
They're based on photographs, mainly newspaper photographs, of the Fifties and Sixties from archives in New York and L.A. Most people in these pictures are real people, caught in some long forgotten, petty events.
I rearranged the scenes, introduced new characters, and created new relationships and contexts. And then I painted them in black and blue.
That's how I remember America back then in the early Fifties in Vienna, where I was born. The big war had ended a few years ago, but the city still seemed undecided as to whether this was the end of the world or if life should go on.
It was a strange, sad and surreal world. The streets were empty, the houses dark - many of them in ruins from the bombings.
The few people I saw seemed ugly, clumsy, and depressed.
I never saw anybody laughing and I never heard anybody sing. It was a world without sound and colour. Everything moved in slow motion, like slime. We had no phones, no television, no cars, no music, no pictures, except the paintings of tortured people in the Roman Catholic church which made a deep impression on me, haunting me in the sleepless nights of my childhood limbo.
And then, without any warning, suddenly there was America.
When I saw the first picture of Elvis I was in a state of shock, because I couldn't believe that a human being could be so beautiful.
That was the beginning of the never-ending flood of American images that suddenly came over us and started to penetrate and transform everything.