Gottfried Helnwein (born October 8, 1948 in Vienna) is an Austrian-Irish fine artist, painter, photographer, installation and performance artist.
Helnwein studied at the University of Visual Art in Vienna (Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Wien). He was awarded the Master-class prize (Meisterschulpreis) of the University of Visual Art, Vienna, the Kardinal-König prize and the Theodor-Körner prize.
He has worked as a painter, draftsman, photographer, muralist, sculptor, installation and performance artist, using a wide variety of techniques and media.
His early work consists mainly of hyper-realistic watercolors, depicting wounded children, as well as performances – often with children – in public spaces. Helnwein is concerned primarily with psychological and sociological anxiety, historical issues and political topics. As a result of this, his work is often considered provocative and controversial.
I personally like the feelings of despair, hurt, anxiety that seem to emanate from his paintings that look so real they could be mistaken for photographs. Awesome artist.