Helbig has said that his paintings ‘are about reduction to an unrecognisable state from which something new can then evolve. Concealing in order to reveal something, encrypting in order to make something visible.’ His ethereal brushwork, gauzy tones and subdued palette oscillate between hiding and unveiling familiar forms. Some of his paintings are rooted in teach-yourself art manuals, yet instead of focusing on precise copying he leaves the works unfinished, in a state of engagement with abstraction and a sort of larger-than-life open-endedness.

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