Sean Penn visits Helnwein in his L.A, studio and invites him to join in a collaboration on video project, and becomes his collector.
He said in an interview: "Well, the world is a haunted house, and Helnwein at times is our tour guide through it. A lot of it is the way he's approached life. And it doesn't take someone knowing him to know that. You take one look at the paintings and you say "this guy has been around." You can't sit in a closet - and create this. This level of work is earned."
Sean Penn, Gottfried Helnwein and Israeli director Amos Gitai
…WHEN SOMEONE IS WILLING TO TAKE ON THE SADNESS, THE IRONY, THE UGLINESS AND THE BEAUTY IN THE KIND OF WAY THAT HELNWEIN DOES.
Sean Penn talks about the Art of Gottfried Helnwein
"Well, the world is a haunted house, and Helnwein at times is our tour guide through it.
I think in anything that is really relevant and emotional art, there is some kind of a mirror that people experience. I don't think that you can recognize a feeling from something that you look at unless it's part of yourself, and so when someone is willing to take on the sadness, the irony, the ugliness and the beauty in the kind of way that Gottfried Helnwein does.