Mercedes Helnwein’s creations of figurative art showcase an uncanny and subtly disturbing narrative, an invariably off-beat gaze. Mercedes Helnwein grew up at the family home in Ireland; first attracted to writing, she started out her artistic career by publishing short stories and articles in literary journals. “Everything in my work, whether photography, painting, writing or film, leads back to a story. The story is not always very evident, but it is there,” the artist explains. Born in Vienna (Austria), she is the eldest daughter of the world-renowned artist, Gottfried Helnwein. But as she explains, "we have completely different artistic urges and subject matters. He has never been a direct influence or has given me lessons on drawing or painting. I soaked in inspiration from him but there was never any direct influence.”
In 2000, Mercedes moved to Los Angeles (USA), where her visual art soon attracted art market attention. She draws on entirely personal influences ranging from feminism, the American society of the 1960s, nineteenth century Russian literature or Blues music. Helnwein works in a wide range of media, from painting, drawing to experimental film. She is also influenced by the comic aesthetics of illustrator Crumb and Daniel Clowes's Ghost World or the sharp literature of Bukowski.
Since her first shows in Los Angeles in the early 2000s, Helnwein’s work has been exhibited in New York, Berlin, Ireland, London, Austria, Switzerland and Germany. Her novel Slingshot is being published by Wednesday Books/ St.Martin’s Press in April 2021.
Mercedes Helnwein is an artist supported by Colección SOLO. The original painting Girls and Car is housed at the art collection in Espacio SOLO (Madrid)