"Well, the world is a haunted house, and Helnwein at times is our tour guide through it.
I think in anything that is really relevant and emotional art, there is some kind of a mirror that people experience. I don't think that you can recognize a feeling from something that you look at unless it's part of yourself, and so when someone is willing to take on the sadness, the irony, the ugliness and the beauty in the kind of way that Gottfried does.
Not all of Gottfried's work is on a canvas. A lot of it is the way he's approached life. And it doesn't take someone knowing him to know that. You take one look at the paintings and you say "this guy has been around." You can't sit in a closet - and create this. This level of work is earned.
When you find someone in the arts, whether it's in your medium or in another medium, that raises the bar for you, that reinvigorates your own pursuit of affecting people and out of a sharing what you count on as some kind of a common chord in us.
As an artist my strongest reaction to Helnwein's work is that it challenges me to be better at what I do. There are very few people that achieve utter excellence in what they do.
And I think that Gottfried Helnwein is certainly one of those people."