10 febbraio 2011
am fm
arts music fashion magazine
The Inferno of Helnwein
Gottfried Helnwein isn't just an artist. He is an inspiration, a voice, and his masterpieces will capture your eyes and touch your soul. His art has been around for decades, and it was truly a pleasure to discover his work. amfm had the opportunity to see some of his most striking and beautiful pieces up close at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento for their latest exhibit "Inferno of the Innocents" featuring the artist. When you walked into the exhibition it was as if the mood shifted from the hustle and bustle of simply checking out art, to gazing at a piece in awe of it's wonder.
Helnwein's pieces aren't just grand in size, but they are on a grandeur scale. Many of his pieces feature children, a motif of his work, in the most compromising of positions; guns in hand, like soldiers, wounded, bloodied, scarred, statuesque, and yet ethereal. His artist's statement explains his choice to personify children because they are the the definition of innocence.
The Director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Henry S. Parker III said, "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."
Helnwein also addresses the media unconventional ways in his use of Disney characters, particularly Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. These iconic images, also relating to childhood and innocence, become dark, and at times are portrayed as villain-like caricatures, or are displayed completely out of their element than in the films and cartoons they belong in.
His art is controversial, and thought provoking--everything that art has the power to be. Be it in his alluding to times of war, like that of the Holocaust, political beliefs seeping through, or in his provocative imagery. The images themselves appear real and instantly make you feel.
His paintings are so realistic and intrinsic that they could almost be photographs. Your eyes will be fooled, especially given that he has worked with many forms of media, including watercolor, sculpture, and photography, like that of the Marilyn Manson portraits "The Golden Age of Grotesque."
If you haven't had the chance to see the exhibit or any of his work for that matter, you are missing out on one of the great artists of our time. Check out some of our guerrilla photography from the "no camera zone" exhibit. We managed to get in some great pictures in between getting yelled at. There was no stopping me from showing Helnwein's art to you.

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