The Haunting Gottfried Helnwein

Gottfried Helnwein

Gottfried Helnwein

Gottfried Helnwein blows me away. An oil painter in photorealism, he strikes to a core. The technical and conceptual brilliance of his work is utterly married together and phenomenal. When I think of the word ‘inspiration’ I tend to think of other words like ‘upbeat, positive, encouraging, adventurous…’ but examining the character of his aesthetic I am inspired to get pretty damn real about life, like let’s not waste time here. He hits me hard. I love it.

 Now, I have stared at Picasso’s Guernica, 1937  http://www.pablopicasso.org/guernica.jsp  and Ruben’s Massacre of the Innocents, 1612 http://artmatters.ca/wp/tag/massacre-of-the-innocents/   and wept about our beastliness, and inhumanity. No joke, those works are powerful. This is different. The feeling of goose bumps move from skin to way way way back inside me and scorches the tips of what I also know to be human: anxiety, physical suffering, fear, victimization. Helnwein brings this kind of emotional reality into a concrete…WOW.

Gottfried Helnwein

Gottfried Helnwein

Helwein’s creative gaze captures innocence, loss, powerlessness, unrest, the ‘un-protected’ by forces of safety. When I first saw his work I immediately thought of my daughter. So right there, my insides were turned.  It is like I can see something in the young girl from my own body, to the effect of  ‘ surrender to what I can’t control, a kind of abandonment of will and maybe something will keep me alive’ kind of feeling. I began to probe that maybe the instinct to survive comes in the exact moment after the loss, or victimized feeling that washes over the body?…whatever that feeling is…HOLY CR&^%&!

Helnwein

Gottfried Helnwein

Inexplicable torture – Is this to feel? to penetrate numbness? Our culture does a very good job at keeping us trapped in a kind of delirium. Contemporary artist Paul McCarthy defines that for us in his filmic installations. The psychological terror here scares the heck out of me when these expressions stare back. It’s pretty darn literal.

Gottfried Helnwein hyperrealism

Gottfried Helnwein

The purity and then it leaves…

Gottfried Helnwein- The Child series

Gottfried Helnwein

When I see and feel this image I think of- “If I close my eyes maybe the pain will all go away. I just want to not see for a sec…” and ” maybe I can wish for help to come …”

Gottfried Helnwein

Gottfried Helnwein

A dark dark presence to reckon with and at the same time there might be a way out…?

Gotta take a breath here. Whoosh!

Below is to show you the ‘average’ scale of his work. Pretty flippin’ large.

Gottfried_HELNWEIN--THE_MURMUR_OF_THE_INNOCENTS-1

Gottfried Helnwein

The artist himself. He is Austrian born, now an Irish citizen, studios in Los Angeles and Ireland, and lives in a castle with his large family. His models are family members. He paints, does costume and theater design, installation works, performance, a draftsman…

He is more than goth, he is Gothic.

 

Photo Gottfried Helnvein

Up close to Gottfried Helnvein-

WOW!


The Holy Trinity- Part 3. Taking ‘it’ to heart can suck for a while…

Heart Connections

 

Brain can rule the heart

Between the heart and Brain- The Foolish Heart by the Awkward Yeti

Every week day morning I have the opportunity to walk my kids to school which has become a welcoming ritual in my world.  We talk about the unfolding events and activities of the day, who is doing what and so forth.  Currently we have two days left of the school year which you would think my kids would be super happy about, but this morning unexpectedly my son was in a bad mood. I don’t know what caused him to be mean to his sister, other than it had to be he was hurting inside. Sometimes our hearts and brains around situations are at total odds. We know we can’t live under the sole guidance of the heart. We need the smarts of reason to cooperate. On a bad day such as my son’s this morning, it was evident his brain’s ‘critic’ or ‘protector’ was engaged against his sister and out to fire enough ammunition to burn a city down.  What a way to ruin the bubbly self in his sister that loves life innocently says gullible mama.  He isn’t always the ‘critic’, like all of us he is guilty of big heart loving and obviously his sister provoked him to get him into a wounding mood. The point is we all act in this play  ‘Between Good Heart and Negative Brain’ daily  and we do it because we enter the zone of vulnerability. It can suck.

Now I am not a therapist, or a self-help guru on how to overcome vulnerability. I know we can meditate, drink Oprah’s soothing tea recipes, eat lots of vegetables (apparently two pounds daily to prevent cancer), exercise, travel and perhaps we reach equanimity. Even if I do follow the right regimen I am still a little empty. What I realize is if I delve deeper into the quasi inventive characters we are, I can begin to see differently. Humans are blessed with creativity and I am not talking about the reproductive kind altho that too I suppose. From active creativity comes positivity and connection. I think the remedy that cures all is having a sense of wonder as we flow thru our orbits. Try this once and you might get hooked. Let wonder lead the way in your day from one moment to the next. To be caught by the unexpected or the inexplicable is profoundly liberating. First, you could start with this video on The Helical Heart which unravels the construction of the human heart. . It will blow you away.

 

#2.  Dwell on this fantastic Macramé dress to see the intricate symmetry of human craft encase and drape where complexity is trapped in and outside the body. Where is the solid form anyway?

red is the heart is a dress

The Red dress drips

 

#3. Let’s take on those bad thoughts and feel the heat of fire burn them to ashes…

Red Fire Dress

Red heart Fire dress- Alexander McQueen

#4. Let’s look at our biological systems that keep us flowing and grounded on the earth. Our body is often said to be a machine well, it is also pretty darn mysterious like any scientist or mystic will tell you. Jean Paul Gauthier’s body suit below is an intense reminder of the hidden layers of connectivity.

veins and cloth-Gauthier

 Lastly,

Let’s go back to the 80’s and visit Jana Sterbak’s Meat Dress titled Vanitas. Here we can watch meat age much like we do, from raw innocence to curing wisdom.

The Flesh dress

 

“Ah! The Vanity of it All”…might perhaps lead us down the path of meaninglessness but one thing is clear while our hearts are built around perfect symmetry like that which is hidden in natural structures they also contain the seeds of self-mastery. We can chose to feel the beauty that continuously pervades us inside and outside the human hemisphere, the natural law of the cosmos or we can be burned by that nasty magistrate who destroys from the wounded self. The truth is our heart always wins with love. Second last day of school maybe my son will come around…