Intricate Pencil Drawings by Mercedes Helnwein

“A writer as well as visual artist, Mercedes Helnwein does not so much tell stories or even capture moments in her drawings as she triggers possibilities—the possibilities being vaguely unlikely, vaguely unsavory, and not-so-vaguely menacing, rather like inverse Magrittes. Helnwein’s basic ingredient is the fully, fashionably, clothed human figure, more often than not regarding the viewer or about to; occupying a peculiarly lit, but familiar space, they are shown engaged in a solipsistic soliloquy— self-absorbed and drenched in an almost urgent ennui—with someone and/or something else. The something else is never a weapon, and the someone else never seems to be a love interest or BFF, so the narrative tension keeps to a simmer. But that tension is the more pervasive for its very indirection and indefinability…”

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