The Big Interview – Why bloody children, Mr. Helnwein?


The disturbing image of a girl in Vienna’s Ringturm brings the issue of abuse and violence back into focus following the Teichtmeister trial. Gottfried Helnwein talks to Conny Bischofberger about a ‘child porn epidemic’, his need to make physical and psychological injuries visible and what Donald Duck has to do with it.

Helnwein’s Austrian office is located on the first floor of a 15th century house, directly behind the church “Maria am Gestade” in Vienna’s first district. The master sits at a square wooden table, an illustrated book in front of him and a life-size photo of a girl behind him. Portraits of Keith Richards, Michael Jackson and Andy Warhol lean against the wall on the left and right. A bandaged plaster child ‘lies’ on a table in the corner of the room, an oppressive sight. Helnwein smiles. The ‘shock painter’, as he is often called, wears a headband, dark sunglasses and five skull rings as always. He came to Vienna alone from the US this week.

“Kron”: Have you had the opportunity to see your work of art on the Ringturm in Vienna yet?
Gottfried Helnwein: Yep, I passed it on the way and was surprised at how good it turned out. People came up to me on the street and thanked me.

Source: Krone


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