Mike Helbing by NationalVeteransArtMuseum published on 2013/05/23 23:34:53 +0000 ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, LET’S ALL GO TO WAR Mike Helbing Served in Vietnam, U.S. Army 68” x 45” x 45 ½” 1981 Mike Helbing has created art since he was old enough to crawl. He served as a radio mechanic in Vietnam during the war. With sculpture as his primary medium, he creates pieces that mimic the inner world of stresses and emotions, in this case, those specifically related to war. He notes that one of the underlying themes of his practice is based on his personal understanding of the human place in the natural order of things. Actually what I think what happens, is when you go from this world or this reality, this one your trained in as a youth in most of the society and habits, and you leave that to go into war. In service to the society, you find out that pretty much everything you learned about the way the world worked–it doesn’t work that way anymore. It’s like, it gets reduced to very elemental: food, friends, buddies, watch their back, avoid getting killed, the process of luck, and how a lot of the values you have are turned totally upside down. And then you live in that world for a period of time, and you see that the world that you thought you knew, never really existed. So then you come back and you have to recreate, or it’s not even recreate, you have to make a totally new world that you can exist in, that’s a structure that is created by yourself. Hopefully it meshes enough with the rest of the people that you exist with that you can survive.