Title

Beautiful victims : childhood and the holocaust in the work of Gottfried Helnwein

Date of Award

2010

Document Type

Masterʼs Research Paper

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Art & Art History

First Advisor

M. E. Warlick

Keywords

Helnwein -- Criticism and interpretation, Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945), in art, Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) -- Influence, Children in art., Painting, Modern

Abstract

"For the past three decades, contemporary artist Gottfried Helnwein has shocked viewers with his Holocaust-related paintings, drawings and installations. Born in Austria in 1948, Helnwein witnessed the immediate aftermath of World War II in Europe from a child’s perspective. Consequently, the horrifying images summoned from Helnwein’s imagination are inspired by the memories and repercussions of this tragedy. His work addresses his parents’ unwillingness to speak of the atrocities as well as the exploitation of the Holocaust in contemporary popular media. His work questions not only how such a tragedy could have taken place, but also how contemporary perception of this event has been affected by total media saturation and the passage of time. To shock viewers, Helnwein portrays strikingly realistic images of distressed, wounded and morally ambiguous children in works that have been regarded as controversial and outspoken"

Comments

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