Henriette Hellstern – Artist’s Statement

Artist’s Statement and paintings by Henriette Hellstern

Same landscape, different views (Austin, USA) by Henriette Hellstern

Artist’s Statement – Same landscape, different views

Henriette Hellstern: Regrettably, instead of embracing our differences as opportunities for growth and understanding, our collective consciousness often succumbs to the temptation of hurling mud at one another. This disheartening discrepancy asks the question: from whence does this deep-seated hate arise? How does it manifest in such an evil manner that it culminates in acts of violence and even murder? In the series Same landscape, different views I dive into the mechanisms that trick this hatred towards the LGBTQ community.

Through ongoing research, I have explored the atmospheric dynamics within various communities where divergent opinions have become so deeply entrenched that they have tragically resulted in hate crimes and loss of life. Consider, for instance, the tale of a courageous store owner in Lake Arrowhead, USA, who bravely championed the cause of the LGBTQ+ community, only to be met with a fatal gunshot for refusing to be silenced. Or the heart-wrenching account of a gay couple in Vigo, Spain, who extended an act of friendship by inviting a stranger into their home, only to meet a gruesome fate, stabbed to death and left amidst the flames of a burning house.

These cities and places, once home to individuals who coexisted in close proximity, living their everyday lives, now bear witness to the stark contrast of divergent mindsets. For some, the mere existence of happiness and freedom in others becomes an intolerable provocation, igniting a seething hatred that ultimately claims innocent lives. I have selected several of these locations, capturing their essence through my research. These places, once ordinary areas, have been transformed into haunting crime scenes, serving as a reminder of the tragic consequences of such deep-rooted hate.

I confess I will never fully comprehend the depths of this hate that occasionally touches the lives of my own rainbow family and friends. However, as an LGBTQ+ artist, I firmly believe it is my duty to shed light on these dark realities, to foster meaningful dialogue, and to contribute in any way possible to dismantle the foundations of hatred. Together, we must strive to fight this dark vision, ensuring that love, acceptance, and understanding prevail in our short lifetime.


Same landscape, different views (Fortaleza, Brazil) by Henriette Hellstern.

Same landscape, different views (Lake Arrowhead, USA) 130x150cm, 2023 by Henriette Hellstern.

About Henriette Hellstern

Henriette Hellstern is a Danish, Copenhagen-based artist. The core subjects of her abstract expressionist paintings are the body, sexualities and Nature. Hellstern earned an MFA from the Funen Art Academy in Denmark in 2011. As an art student, she merged quirky video performances and powerful paintings, and she took part in the National Queer Arts Festival exhibition, Threads at SOMArts Cultural Center (San Francisco, 2009). She has a voice that reaches an international audience: Hellstern’s artworks on gender and freedom have been widely exhibited and her artworks are part of international art collections in Vilnius, Arizona, Paris and Helsinki. She won the VKunst Art Award in 2015 in Frankfurt, Germany. In 2022, she curated the group show Cassandra’s sisters in King Christian IV’s Round Tower in Copenhagen. The exhibition featured works by 15 women artists.


Henriette Hellstern – portrait by P. Noerby.