Helmut Grill Webseite: https://helmutgrill.com/ Ordentliches Mitglied seit 2001
Artist StatementBorn 1965 in Salzburg/AUSTRIA. Since 1991 I fully devote my time to the arts, leaving behind my previous profession as a “digital manipulator” of advertising visuals. Over the last 28 years I have learned a lot about my individual, conscious and subconscious approaches to values and emotions that influence my thinking. These conclusions about my inner priorities, threats to my ideals and anxieties have pushed me to search for ways to express the conflict of imminence and protection. It started with natural rubber and attempted to compress it between metal pieces. Ultimately the seemingly soft rubber would succeed over the “predominant” metal and altered its shape. From there I started to coat valuable, random or frightening items with liquid rubber to either eliminate the danger, change the meaning or protect the vulnerable. An online-based opportunity for visitors to remotely initiate a coating session marked my first step towards interactive art projects. My search continued on to photographic media choosing “almost” random images from the web. I then digitally enhanced them and put them into different environments, looking for controversy of beauty and war or harmony and destruction, adding an additional layer by partially “coating” the people’s skin with writings. They symbolize a different awkward threat we have to deal with everyday in form of media and information overflow. At same time the visually appealing coat of letters rather wraps the individuals into my personal armor of words. My photographic exploration of invasion continued with digitally altering graphic relations in interpersonal situations, increasing or decreasing the size of the aggressor versus the defender. This work sometimes left me astonished by the fact of how much people trust in the power of images and how impossible scenarios can be, while people still think it truly happened. Still partially unsatisfied with only 2 dimensional solution of photography, I started to look into video installations, initially expressing my ideas in a simplistic/minimalist, but very meaningful way. This is how I came up with my project “Rocket Fish.” A little fish symbolizing men's everlasting strive to rise above the ordinary. The stubborn aim to achieve the seemingly impossible. Endless attempts without reason or eventually the only path to transcendence? www.rocket-fish.com/ The next project I called “The Refuge”. A concept based on the fascination of secrecy. The lack of people is part of creating the seclusion. Any reflection and correlation with humanity purely originates from the play with what has been left behind or the meaningful placement of elements seemingly added over the course of time. The “house” (home, hotel, refuge, ...) itself, neon signs, strange wild postings, drawings or graffiti and the environment are all “lit” intentionally in obscure ways to create the specific atmosphere I desire. Following this concept are the “sceneries”, virtual landscapes waiting for a discoverer. Hidden in this beautiful places, you can discover many things, related to the man being. it is like people have disappeared from earth and left strange and normal stuff behind. It is yours to create the story, all the necessary information is there. Above all it is the secrecy and the limitation of obvious information, which should inspire to go for a journey into a mysterious world. My next series „temples“ is reacting to what happens around us. religions are changing, they always were. they disappear and others pop up. it is just a matter of time. but what is your religion now ? are you still surfing on the ruins of our history, or did you step into the new faith generation. do you „believe“ in yourself ? more than you should, bringing it up to a big ME, ME, ME ? are you full of desire, dying for sex, money, luxury, fashion or even the arts ? is it never enough ? do you literally kneel in front of your desires, do you feel lonely without them ? go close and watch the temples, maybe find yourself, maybe your biggest enemy. and then, if you think you understood, start thinking the opposite. This leads us to „ walls“: in this series I took parts of the „weeping wall“ and rebuild it in a other environment. Walls are a big theme in our society - again we should ask ourself: is it really time to build them again ? This series pops up with questions like: what lies behind the unseen ? Is it better there ? Or, typical: is the neighbors garden really always more green ? Like always, I use „left overs“, signs and marks from people which are not to see, but must have been there. And my last series till now: „mountains“ . . artificial mountains, absolutely powerful, majestic, unbeatable they look. If you stand in front of them, you will think about how small humans really are. The greatness of nature will come in your mind and then you might realize that there is something strange. While usually there is a summit cross on top, here you find a neon light from a global company like apple, chanel, google and so on. These are the „sponsors“. Ironically meant, we live in a world where it is possible to buy even an holy mountain. 2022 i also started to integrate analog elements (painting) into my completed temples, walls and birds-worlds. It is quite exciting to "destroy" a finished work, created in many hours, days, weeks. I have named this series "revisions". Finally, I think, the big question is: What is real and what is not. In every thinkable way.
Atelier / Werkstatt
mixed paint on constructed Photography 150 x 200 cm 2022 © Helmut Grill
mixed paint on constructed Photography 150 x 120 cm 2022 © Helmut Grill
mixed media on wood 2021 - 2022 © Helmut Grill
constructed photography 150 x 200 cm 2020 © Helmut Grill
constructed photography 270 x 180 cm 2019 © Helmut Grill