Mercedes Helnwein’s Evocative Renderings of Halloweens Past.

Mercedes Helnwein, WITCHES (detail), 2017, oil pastels on paper

Artist and writer Mercedes Helnwein likes Halloween. One look at her artwork over the past decade and there’s no denying it. Amongst her pieces you’ll see many wonderful sketches, paintings and mixed media renderings of kids in costume, pumpkins and other clues of October’s All Hallows Eve.

Mercedes Helnwein Halloween

Mercedes Helnwein, HALLOWEEN KIDS, 10″x12″, oil on canvas

Mercedes Helnwein is the daughter of Austrian artist Gottfried Helnwein, whose controversial photographs of Marilyn Manson we shared with you years ago here. Born in Vienna, she spent her teen years in Ireland and avoided attending art school on purpose. Instead, drawing inspiration from various personal influences, she developed a distinct style which she began introducing to Los Angelenos over a decade ago in a series of self-instigated, one-night pop-up shows, often with the then-emerging Alex Prager – one of the photographers we told you to watch way back in 2010.

Mercedes Helnwein, DEVIL 2017, Pencil and oil pastel on tracing paper, 6 x 6 inches

Eventually Mercedes Helnwein was exhibiting with the Merry Karnowsky Gallery in Los Angeles and around Europe, garnering fans like artist Damien Hirst, who bought out one of her London shows years ago. In addition to being an artist, Mercedes is also published author with two novels to her credit and three artbooks.

Mercedes works in a multitude of mediums and combinations thereof: pencil, pencil with watercolor, oil pastels, oil paints, photography combined with oil pastels, and more. Regardless of media, her work has an undeniable energy.

Mercedes Helwein shows off her oil pastels with her “Halloween Kids II” in the background (image courtesy of IG)

It’s always nostalgic to look back at children in costume on Halloween during the days of vacuum-formed masks and flammable ensembles resembling superheroes and princesses. We recall our own experiences of getting ready, putting on our makeup and going out to ring doorbells. We remember pillowcases full of candy and polaroids of us in costumes mom made (or one culled together using our own imagination if mom couldn’t sew). It is this Halloween that Helwein has immortalized in her works. In suburban living rooms decorated with mid-century modern furniture and televisions of days gone by. Not the overly-commercialized Halloween of today where one can choose from thousands of costumes and has to trick or treat in ‘safe zones’.

Mercedes Helnwein, TITLE UNKNOWN, photograph and oil pastels

She has worked and reworked certain subjects and compositions to end up with variants, all of which have their own appeal regardless of execution. In some cases I’ve shown several versions on the same subject.

Mercedes Helnwein, PUMPKIN GIRL
Mercedes Helnwein, PUMPKIN GIRL (detail)
Mercedes Helnwein, PUMPKIN BOY
Mercedes Helnwein, WITCHES, 2017, Oil pastel on paper, 47 x 65 inches
Mercedes Helnwein, THE WITCHES
Mercedes Helnwein, THE LITTLE WITCHES (sketch)
Mercedes Helnwein, BLACK BUBBLEGUM AT MARILYN’S HOUSE
Mercedes Helnwein, TITLE UNKNOWN
Mercedes Helnwein, TITLE UNKNOWN
Mercedes Helnwein, NORTH SIDE OF THE LIVING ROOM
Mercedes Helnwein, TITLE UNKNOWN
Mercedes Helnwein, TITLE UNKNOWN
Mercedes Helnwein, HALLOWEEN KIDS I
Mercedes Helnwein, HALLOWEEN KIDS II
Mercedes Helnwein, HALLOWEEN KIDS III, 2016, oil pastels on paper, 46″ x 59″
Mercedes Helnwein, SKELETON 2015, Oil pastel on paper, 39 x 42 inches
Mercedes Helnwein, SKELETON KID AND PALS, oil pastel on paper
Mercedes Helnwein, ALIEN BOY 2018, Oil pastel on paper 21 x 21 .5 inches
Mercedes Helnwein, ALIEN BOY (detail)
Mercedes Helnwein, IN THE CORNER, oil pastels on paper
Mercedes Helnwein, TITLE UNKNOWN, mixed media
Mercedes Helnwein, TITLE UNKNOWN, mixed media

We really love her work and hope you did, too.

See more of this talented artists work at the following links:
Mercedes Helnwein
Mercedes Helnwein on Instagram
Mercedes Helnwein on Facebook
The images in this post are courtesy of the artist’s website and instagram 

Sponsored Links