Gothic Art

"I learned more from Donald Duck than from all the schools that I have ever attended."

Gottfried Helnwein is an Austrian-Irish fine artist, painter, photographer, installation and performance artist. He is renowned for his use of a wide variety of techniques and media with his early works consisting mainly of hyper-realistic watercolors that depicted unfortunate states of mistreated children. His artworks have revolved around the theme of the human condition in most of his projects and focuses particularly on the psychological and sociological anxiety, history issues and political topics. With these themes and elements, his works are often viewed as provocative and controversial artworks.

Helnwein currently resides and works in Ireland and Los Angeles.

"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. Robert Flynn Johnson, the curator in charge, has assembled a thought-provoking selection of Helnwein's works and provided an insightful essay on his art. Helnwein's work concerning the child includes paintings, drawings, and photographs, and it ranges from subtle inscrutability to scenes of stark brutality. Of course, brutal scenes – witness The Massacre of the Innocents – have been important and regularly visited motifs in the history of art. What makes Helnwein's art significant is its ability to make us reflect emotionally and intellectually on the very expressive subjects he chooses. Many people feel that museums should be a refuge in which to experience quiet beauty divorced from the coarseness of the world. This notion sells short the purposes of art, the function of museums, and the intellectual curiosity of the public. The Child: Works by Gottfried Helnwein will inspire and enlighten many; it is also sure to upset some. It is not only the right but the...