1 listopad 2011
Partime Magazine
Taipei,Taiwan
Linda Cooper
Interview mit Gottfried Helnwein
Well, I grew up in an interesting religion, called Christianity. The first art I saw as a little child were the paintings of tortured saints in the church; blood drenched, squirming people in colorful drapery, gazing towards heaven, grinning in ecstasy. The center of the worship was a man nailed onto a wooden cross, crowned with a crest of thorns piercing his head. And again, blood is dripping all over his skinny body. For 2000 years people in the western world grew up with iconography, songs and rites that glorify blood, pain and death, and God, the creator of the whole universe is allegorized as a bearded man dying in anguish. In this tradition, blood got a deeply symbolic and mystic significance and meaning. The greatest artists of the Occident have depicted blood in so many aesthetic variations in the most beautiful paintings, so that these images are now deeply imbedded in our collective subconscious memory.
On your website's Event Calendar, you have exhibitions booked all the way to 2014. Have you not heard 2012 might be the world end?
Not for me, I will keep going. I have no intention to stop just because the world ends.
Have you ever thought about when that day comes?
No
Andy Warhol GONE! Michael Jackson GONE!  What is the meaning of 'life' and 'death' for you?
For me the purpose of life is learning, creating, growing and expanding. Death can be a nuisance at times, because it is quite interruptive when you are on a roll, like Mozart, Walt Disney or Jimi Hendrix.  On the other hand, when you fuck up seriously like Hitler, then death can be a blessing.
Do you believe in 'Forever"?
Yes, the spirit is forever.
What does 'blood' mean to you?
Well, I grew up in an interesting religion, called Christianity. The first art I saw as a little child were the paintings of tortured saints in the church -- blood drenched, squirming people in colorful drapery, gazing towards heaven, grinning in ecstasy. The center of the worship was a man nailed onto a wooden cross, crowned with a crest of thorns piercing his head. And again, blood is dripping all over his skinny body. For 2000 years people in the western world grew up with iconography, songs and rites that glorify blood, pain and death, and God, the creator of the whole universe is allegorized as a bearded man dying in anguish.  In this tradition, blood got a deeply symbolic and mystic significance and meaning.
The greatest artists of the Occident have depicted blood in so many aesthetic variations in the most beautiful paintings, so that these images are deeply imbedded in our collective subconscious memory.
When did you start your art?
One day when I was 18, I had a sudden revelation: I will be an artist!
All the years before I was searching for a purpose in life, I always tried to find out what I should do in life. My first thought was to be a revolutionary leader and in school, which I really hated, I was usually daydreaming and mocking up how I would blow up the school and liberate everybody. Later I wanted to become a surgeon and save lives, but deep inside I knew that this was not it.
One day I suddenly realized that artists have the maximum freedom that one can achieve in our societies. I always wanted to be independent and free, I rejected any type of authority and I could never be somebody's go-for, nor do I want to be entrapped in any belief system that others made up.
Reviewing all the past, what do you feel?
Well, I have made every mistake that one can possible make. I really wasted lots of time on senseless things and I screwed up badly sometimes.
But I always tried to get up again and learn from my mistakes. I don't regret anything. The most important lesson I learned is: I am the only one responsible for anything that ever happened to me. Never ever blame anybody or anything else. If you do that, you are fucked.
If I could start over again at your age, with all the experience and all I now know -- that would be cool.
Have you ever felt lost?
No
For me, you and your art are just like 'Invaluable antiques', I really want to hear more stories about you.
Maybe we should hang out sometime, then I can tell you lots of stories.
Can you use three words to describe the memories of each year you have been through?
1948: I am landing at the wrong time at the wrong place.
1950: I I'm 14 months old, I look around and I still don't like what I see.
1960: I am suffering incredibly in school and I don't understand why I have to go through all of that.
1970: I lam leaving my parents and move into my first studio in the attic of an old building in Vienna and I am intoxicated by the experience of unlimited freedom.
1980: I am leaving Vienna and I am moving to Germany.
1990: I live with a bunch of kids in a medieval German castle high up on a hill, surrounded by inbreds armed with Pitchforks and torches.
2000: I am having a great time between my Irish castle and my studio in downtown L.A.
2011: I move into a bigger and much cooler studio in L.A.
I am 22 years old, what would like to say to my age of people?
Always look and think for yourself; draw your own conclusions; make your own decisions. Don't trust the mass media. If something doesn't make sense to you, no matter what incredibly important authority told you so, question it, investigate it, and always try to find out what's really going on.
Once you have found your own path, keep walking, no matter what other people tell you and never ever give up. Always strive for total freedom -- for yourself and for others.
Can you tell us more about your family members? How much they support your life?
I don't think we are a family in the traditional sense of the western middle class.
We are all artists and we live like a band of gypsies. We are very close to each other and we support each other. My son Ali is a classical composer, plays the violin and conducts his own orchestra. My daughter Mercedes is a writer, painter and video artist, my son Cyril is a photographer and he also works for me as my assistant, my youngest son Amadeus is a writer and all my children's spouses are also artists. It's really great to sit at a big table and have lunch with them, while the grandchildren and barking dogs run around the table.
Have you achieved everything you wanted? Any more dreams?
I just started to learn how to dream the big dreams.
What do you think of Chinese?
I was in Hong-Kong and in Beijing and I must say I really liked it.
Which is good because in the near future China and Asia will dominate the planet. The Western-Anglo-American empire is going down, their time has run out.
In their time they have given the world one of the greatest culture of all times but they have also caused enormous pain, and the biggest destruction and misery of all times.
May Asia do it better.
I saw your bandana has Chinese writing on it, it is quite interesting, any particularly meaning?
I can't read it, but I like the design.
Many thanks.




Powrót do góry