The real tension in Helbig’s paintings is that nothing is simply what it first appears to be. Though anchored around portraits, landscapes or art historical subjects, his compositions suggest an eerie, remote intangibility. Wilde Mit Spiegel (2004) echoes a traditional mirror-facing vanitas, but here it has been fleshed out through an abject model whose monstrosity seems to be disintegrating and shifting before our very eyes.

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