Mercedes Helnwein, was born in Vienna Austria, first daughter to renowned painter, and art provocateur Gottfried Helnwein. At an early age she proved true the old adage of apples and trees. Art was in her blood as well as on her mind. Working first as a writer of fiction in the realm of short stories, she began publishing works in various magazines and literary journals.
After moving to Los Angeles in 2000, and completing her first novel, Helnwein took a break from writing to reexamine her talents as a fine artist. It is here that she truly began to see the power of the pen. Borrowing from a list of influences as varied as southern blues, turn of the century Russian literature, and sixties comic book artists, Helnwein’s work garnered high praise from even the most hardened critics. Intricate and emotional, her detailed sketches were quickly snagged by the upper echelon of Los Angeles art collectors, those with a sense for young talent with bright and expansive future.
Her lifelong obsession to see places with names like Arkansas and Mississippi finally brought on the America Motel project, in which Alex Prager and filmmaker Beth Riesgraf joined her in turning two weeks of motel life into an art installation which was presented in a motel in downtown, L.A. with great critical acclaim.
With the success of her exhibitions and reviews in such publications as the L.A. Times her art has come to leave its impression in the Los Angeles art scene.