21. Februar 2011
ginamarierose.com
Gina
Gottfried Helnwein’s “Inferno of the Innocents”
The art you will see in this post is challenging, intense, and disturbing. Consider yourself warned.
Most of the art in the new Crocker proved beautiful and thought-provoking, but the art that caught my attention the most was Gottfried Helnwein’s exhibition: “Inferno of the Innocents.” Like many people who have seen Gottfried Helnwein’s exhibition “Inferno of the Innocents,” I did find the works to be disturbing and even stomach-churning at times. However, I also found myself having a great appreciation for Helnwein’s work because there is so much truth in the “mirror” he is holding up to our society: We live in a violent, sick world filled with hatred, war, and discrimination, which is exactly one of the reasons why I may not end up having kids someday; the notion of not being able to protect my future children from the aforementioned dangers in the world we live in is another thought that makes me feel sick in and of itself. So, yes, Gottfried Helnwein may easily be perceived as “one sick motherfucker,” but he’s also a brilliant, talented artist who dared to create something that needed to be said in a visual form, no matter how uncomfortable the final product would make our society feel. I have to say that I have a lot of respect for Gottfried Helnwein’s work, and a lot of respect for the Crocker Art Museum for showing that Sacramento is not afraid of the avante-garde.
When deciding which museum to visit, the new Crocker Art Museum was the first to come to mind. The Crocker was renovated last year and “Neo Crocker” was introduced in October. Four months later and I still hadn’t been, so the opportunity to check it out on Free Museum Day was a no-brainer.
Neo Crocker’s new renovation consists of a significant expansion of the museum as a whole: The old Crocker is still there, but now it’s attached to another, much more updated and pristine three-story museum that looks like a museum one would find in San Francisco, or even New York. The same goes for the interior of the new Crocker: Instead of the traditional European art that the old Crocker was known for, the rooms and halls are filled with a variety of Californian, American, African, and Asian art. Most of the art in the new Crocker proved beautiful and thought-provoking, but the art that caught my attention the most was Gottfried Helnwein’s exhibition: “Inferno of the Innocents.”
Gottfried Helnwein’s monumental mixed media paintings portray symbols of innocence (a child, cartoon character, etc.) placed in violent and destructive environments (war, abandonment, inhumanity, etc). After a first glance at his work, one may perceive Gottfried Helnwein as “one sick motherfucker,” but there’s actually a significant message behind the artist’s “madness”:
“I’m above all fascinated by innocence, this expression of otherworldliness which only a few children have, which adults have completely lost.” – G.H.
Helnwein views “the child” as a potent symbol of innocence, innocence betrayed, and finally, hope. What Helnwein is trying to do is create imagery that will not only hold a mirror up to society, but also provoke thought for those who view his art. See for yourself:
Like many people who have seen Gottfried Helnwein’s exhibition “Inferno of the Innocents,” I did find the works to be disturbing and even stomach-churning at times. However, I also found myself having a great appreciation for Helnwein’s work because there is so much truth in the “mirror” he is holding up to our society: We live in a violent, sick world filled with hatred, war, and discrimination, which is exactly one of the reasons why I may not end up having kids someday; the notion of not being able to protect my future children from the aforementioned dangers in the world we live in is another thought that makes me feel sick in and of itself. So, yes, Gottfried Helnwein may easily be perceived as “one sick motherfucker,” but he’s also a brilliant, talented artist who dared to create something that needed to be said in a visual form, no matter how uncomfortable the final product would make our society feel. I have to say that I have a lot of respect for Gottfried Helnwein’s work, and a lot of respect for the Crocker Art Museum for showing that Sacramento is not afraid of the avante-garde.




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