Today, former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's gubernatorial portrait was unveiled. The portrait, painted by artist Gottfried Helnwein, will hang in the State Capitol building in Sacramento.
Like Schwarzenegger, Helnwein was born in Austria He is well-known for his portraits, and has painted Andy Warhol, John F. Kennedy, and Muhammad Ali. Some of his other portraits are more dark, such as those of Adolf Hitler, himself and most famously, Marilyn Manson on the 2003 Grotesk Burlesk Tour. He also paints beautiful oil and acrylic landscapes. Though some of Helnwein's work might be dark, the Governator looks happy as a clam in his portrait.
Helnwein offered this statement about the commission:
Arnold is one of the most remarkable men of our times. He is larger than life, he is a myth, and he has already lived several lives that became legends. But I also know him as a great lover and patron of the arts. Arnold was friends with Andy Warhol from early on and he is an ardent Art collector. He often visited me at my studio in downtown Los Angeles where we had long and inspiring discussions about art. When he became Governor of California he filled the Capitol with a new spirit, a new energy, and I was excited and honored when he asked me to paint his official portrait. It was quite a challenge, and I enjoyed every moment of it."
The former governor is thrilled with the piece, telling those present at the unveiling, "It’s truly a privilege to have my portrait hang on the walls alongside California’s great leaders."