Thomas Helbig Homo Homini Lupus
Berlin-based artist Thomas Helbig’s early drawings, paintings and sculptures are a bit claustrophobic–like they’ve emerged from a Hieronymus Bosch tableau. His sculptural works are crafted from found objects that he shatters and reconfigures to create hybridized assemblages. The violent gestural surfaces of these works extend into his two-dimensional pieces, which allude to the unwieldy forces of nature through the use of stylistic devices as diverse as the political subtexts of abstraction and the spiritual aspects of Romanticism. Helbig’s paintings of the past two years–the focus of this volume–have gained a little breathing room. His brightly colored chalk drawings, for example, feature pared down and less overtly aggressive Japanese scroll-like imagery. The title Homo Homini Lupus references Thomas Hobbes’ well-known–rather jaundiced–view of the horrors of which human beings are capable when left to their own devices, which seems to suggest that Helbig’s vision is as dark as ever.