Helena Sculpture, 2006
In 2004 Vaast Colson made 12 portraits of Helena, the 15-year-old daughter of German artist Martin Kippenberger, one of his most important examples. He calls the series Helena: The Paintings Martin Couldn't Paint Anymore. At the time, Kippenberger had already been dead for seven years. Colson is referring here to Kippenberger's series Jaqueline: The Paintings Pablo Couldn't Paint Anymore, which Kippenberger produced in 1996 as a tribute to Pablo Picasso, whose wife was called Jaqueline. Colson's series is a tribute and at the same time an attempt to come a little closer to his example with a greater understanding of Kippenberger's working methods, technique and use of materials. Since 2006, the series of portraits is stored in Helena Sculpture, an installation that serves as a vault for an artistic treasure, or as a reliquary for the artistic pilgrim. Only once a year the safe can be opened: on 24 August, Helena's birthday.