Helmut Priess 1941 - 2009

Born and raised in Vienna, Austria, the city known for its rich culture and artistic history, Mr. Helmut Preiss took an interest in the arts from an early age. Recognizing his passion and potential, he enrolled in the prestigious Viennese Academy of Art at the tender age of 16. Throughout his years of study, he was captivated by the techniques of the great art masters and strove to perfect his own skills in the field of painting. His dedication, unwavering commitment and hard work yielded astounding results, and his natural talent quickly became evident. As a result, he has gone on to become a fiercely talented and renowned artist in his own right, earning admiration and respect from those in his field and beyond.

Advertising Agency with His Brother

During Helmut's time at the agency, he worked tirelessly in creating unique and remarkable trademark logos for numerous companies in both Austria and Germany. His dedication and professional approach to graphic designs earned him accolades from clients and colleagues alike. Despite the busy workload, Helmut still found the time and energy to venture into the field of literature and develop over 60 children's books - a testament to his artistic flair and passion for creativity. In 1988, after having gained vast experience and recognition in his profession, Helmut took a significant career leap by deciding to transition into a full-time career as an artist. His decision was one that required courage and vision, given the uncertainties of the path ahead. Thankfully, it was a decision that has since paid off as he has continued to establish himself as a renowned artist, gaining acclaim and admiration for his beautiful and inspiring art pieces.

The Rocking Painter

Preiss, also known as "The Rocking Painter", made quite a name for himself when he recorded an album in Munich with the music of the illustrious Robert Ponger, "Rock Me Amadeus", and Giorgio Moroder, with a recognisable influence in disco and film music. Released in 1980, the album garnered a strong response and Preiss was labelled as "The Austrian Elvis". Not only did he engage his audience with his musical talent, but he also incorporated performance art into his shows. However, despite his undoubted success on stage, Preiss remained steadfast in his love for painting and decided to shift his focus back to painting.

Helmut's Return to the States

Preiss was shocked to see the turmoil America was in. Having been born in one of the most tragic times in history, Helmut tended to stray away from darker subject matter, focusing more on classical and fantastical themes with brilliant color schemes, with the exception of his series' "The Holocaust" and "The Alphabetical Disorder of Modern Times". "The Alphabetical Disorder of Modern Times", was created for Bill Clinton, after he had taken over the Bush administration. It is an exposé in art as critical satire, regarding the problems that were escalating in our country. From homelessness, drug abuse and mental illness, to America's obsession with youth, fame, sex and the growing obsession with physical perfection.

The Meeting of Dick Zimmerman

A pivotal factor in Helmut's career was his meeting of Dick Zimmerman. Dick Zimmerman is most famous for shooting the cover of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" album. Dick was also lucky enough to have been invited to shoot the 50th wedding anniversary photos of the great Salvador Dali and his wife Gala. Sharing a common interest, Preiss and Zimmerman hit it off splendidly and even decided to collaborate on a project they called "Synergy". The mix of Zimmerman's stunning photography and Helmut's brilliant paintings, proved to be a perfect harmony. Zimmerman is still following his passion and creating new pieces, check out his latest works Click Here

The Move to Florida

Because he was so often compared to Dali and Picasso, Preiss had to dig deep to find his own voice. Upon settling in Florida in 1992, he realized that painting in oil would have to change. The humidity in Florida didn't allow the paint to dry fast enough for Preiss, and his Acrylics on Canvas were born. Helmut was an extremely prolific artist, often working on four or five paintings at a time, in addition to his works on paper. Preiss truly believed that he had found his voice with his "Mechanical Men" series. Being classically trained in the style of such master painters as Rembrandt, Velasquez, Bosch, El Greco, Vermeer and Van der Weyden, it was not easy for him to find a "return to innocence". He drew inspiration from his own colorful painting pallets, which he had turned into brilliant collages. These collages would later become the model for his artistic revolution and new style of painting.

Final Exhibit that never happened

In 2004 Preiss had an exhibition of his "Mechanical Men" at the Agora Gallery in New York's Chelsea art district and was invited to show his paintings at the 2005 Biennale in Florence, Italy. Unfortunately, Helmut Preiss succumbed to congestive heart failure in 2009, leaving behind a legacy of fantastic images. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for this incredible master painter. His works, like the man himself, are Bold, Brilliant, Passionate, Colorful, Whimsical, Enigmatic, Exciting and Ever Evolving. All of Helmut's colors are hand blended, so the computer cannot do justice to much of the fine detail and powerful color in his paintings.