1. Januar 1997
Museum of Modern Art, Otaru, Japan
Exhibition catalogue
Evgenija Nicolaevna Petrova
Chief Curator of the State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg
THE METAPHORICAL PRINCIPLE OF GOTTFRIED HELNWEIN
The works of Gottfried Helnwein are technically classified as hyper-realism (surpassing super-realism) and at first glance are practically indistinguishable from photographs. Though realistic in terms of technique, most of Helnwein's works are characterized by metaphorical implications. Among his works, for example, is a painting of a man blindfolded with a bandage around his head. Featured in magazines and newspapers worldwide, looking at this painting may have caused people to feel its unheard cry. Throughout most of Helnwein's work is the basic principle of realism laced with metaphor. Viewed in this light, this basic principle can be considered, in a sense, metaphorical under the guise of realism. On the contrary, photographs by Helnwein look like paintings with implications. Included in all of Gottfried Helnwein's work, this basic principle demonstrates a reflection of the aesthetics of popular culture and irony, and represent Helnwein's major outlook on the world. Gottfried Helnwein is endowed with perfect pitch and distinguished sense of contemporary issues. As a painter whose art deals with issues confronting human society, Helnwein creates a new standard of measuring modernism.
Rousing the audience's curiosity, the painting invariably surprised viewers when exhibited as part of Gottfried Helnwein's retrospective exhibition held at the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg.
"Kindskopf (Head of a Child)" caused the audience to question whether the work was actually a painting or a photograph. Such reactions were typical among the audience, reflecting their naivety.
The works of Gottfried Helnwein are technically classified as hyper-realism (surpassing super-realism) and at first glance are practically indistinguishable from photographs. Though realistic in terms of technique, most of Helnwein's works are characterized by metaphorical implications
Among his works, for example, is a painting of a man blindfolded with a bandage around his head. Featured in magazines and newspapers worldwide, looking at this painting may have caused people to feel its unheard cry.
Throughout most of Helnwein's work is the basic principle of realism laced with metaphor. Viewed in this light, this basic principle can be considered, in a sense, metaphorical under the guise of realism. On the contrary, photographs by Helnwein look like paintings with implications.
Included in all of Gottfried Helnwein's work, this basic principle demonstrates a reflection of the aesthetics of popular culture and irony, and represent Helnwein's major outlook on the world.
Gottfried Helnwein is endowed with perfect pitch and distinguished sense of contemporary issues.
As a painter whose art deals with issues confronting human society, Helnwein creates a new standard of measuring modernism.
Kindskopf (Head of a Child) at the State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg
oil and acrylic on canvas, 1997, 600 cm x 400 cm / 236'' x 157''




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