Self Portrait

Gottfried Helnwein

2008

Self Portrait by Gottfried Helnwein

Oil and acrylic on canvas; 82,7 x 59,1 in.

Helnwein depicts himself in his self-portrait as “Man of Sorrows”. His head is bandaged, eating utensils are drilling into his eyes and his mouth is opened to form a bloodcurdling scream. His face reflects suffering, anger and fear, whereupon the scream can be understood as a sign for liveliness and resistance.

"My work was in fact always an attempt to cope with what affected me or to react to it, and sometimes also to defend myself against it or to strike back."

Lit. ("Schockieren war nie meine Absicht", Kurier, November 24, 2005. In: Klaus Albrecht Schröder/Elsy Lahner (ed.), Gottfried Helnwein (exhibition catalogue Albertina, Vienna 2013), Vienna 2013, p. 12.)