The Beautiful Person

Mercedes Helnwein

April 6, 2012 – May 26, 2012

Unapologetic and confrontational, Mercedes Helnwein’s large-scale portraits of females demand full attention of the viewer. Narrative despite their minimalist settings, the drawings depict romanticized vintage vixens with arresting truth and beauty.

Unapologetic and confrontational, Mercedes Helnwein’s large-scale portraits of females demand full attention of the viewer. Often, porcelain skin is off set against a stark white background, and the figures appear as stills out of beautifully strange avant-garde films, flawlessly rendered and mysteriously arranged. Narrative despite their minimalist settings, the drawings seem to depict romanticized vintage vixens with arresting truth and beauty. The pieces take on the quality of visual short stories packed with obscurity and allure. The meanings of her images are less important than the emotions and thoughts they evoke and the mysteries they transpire.

Helnwein spent much of her adolescence drawing self-portraits, writing novels, and making short films. Mercedes says of her work, “With a portrait, it has to be exactly that person, and I like that responsibility. I like the idea that in a hundred years from now people will look at that drawing and extract the personality from it.”

Helnwein was born in Vienna, Austria and is daughter to renowned painter and art provocateur Gottfried Helnwein. She now splits her time between Los Angeles and Tipperary, Ireland. Her works are included in the private collections of artists such as Damien Hirst. She is represented by Pool Gallery, Berlin and Merry Karnowsky Gallery, Los Angeles.

Click here to view a PDF of the exhibition announcement card.

Exhibition Sponsors

Sponsored by Women for Art.