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Gottfried Helnwein

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Helnwein's subject matter is the human condition. The metaphor for his art is dominated by the image of the child, but not the carefree innocent child of popular imagination. Helnwein instead creates the profoundly disturbing yet compellingly provocative image of the wounded child. The child scarred physically and the child scarred emotionally from within.
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Robert Flynn Johnson, The Child - Works by Gottfried Helnwein, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 2004

 
Gottfried Helnwein

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I love child things because there's so much mystery when you're a child. When you're a child, something as simple as a tree doesn't make sense. You see it in the distance and it looks small, but as you go closer, it seems to grow — you haven't got a handle on the rules when you're a child. We think we understand the rules when we become adults but what we really experienced is a narrowing of the imagination.

 
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I could go on and on, filling page after page with dense examples of disasters and crises where Mother Teresa had had no involvement whatsoever. For me, a Calcuttan, born and bred, it does not come as surprise, as I know her order has no infrastructure - indeed it had never been her intention to create an infrastructure for such work, as she had frequently said, 'I'm not a social worker.' But what I find somewhat disturbing is that she remained inactive when children were hurt or killed, or were at the risk of being orphaned ... this did not sit comfortably with her 'Child First' philosophy. But then, for her the unborn child was far more important than the actual child. Having gone through hundreds of her speeches I have wondered, when compared to the unborn child if the actual child mattered to her at all.

 
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One of the most obvious facts about grown-ups, to a child, is that they have forgotten what it is like to be a child. The child has not yet had the chance to know what it is like to be a grownup; he believes, even, that being a grownup is a mistake he will never make—when he grows up he will keep on being a child, a big child with power. So the child and grownup live in mutual love, misunderstanding, and distaste. Children shout and play and cry and want candy; grownups say Ssh! and work and scold and want steak. There is no disputing tastes as contradictory as these. It is not just Mowgli who was raised by a couple of wolves; any child is raised by a couple of grownups. Father and Mother may be nearer and dearer than anyone will ever be again—still, they are members of a different species. God is, I suppose, what our parents were; certainly the ogre of the stories is so huge, so powerful, and so stupid because that is the way a grownup looks to a child.
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