Baldur Helgason in the studio

Baldur Helgason

Bizarre cartoons, funny and disconcerting

“Baldur Helgason’s paintings reference modern life with both humour and a sense of haunting.”

Modern life is comical and unsettling. Just like caricatures by Baldur Helgason. Often, they’re in the style of cartoons from the 1950s – like Betty Boop and Mickey Mouse. The figures are clown-like, grappling with tricky spaces, smoking, or painting. On the surface, the oil paintings are playful. But they deliberately confront the ambient anxiety of society. Helgason starts with a “blank canvas a...

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Baldur Helgason (he/him) was born in Iceland, 1984. He currently lives and works in Chicago in the United States.

In their own words

Settling in Chicago was never Helgason’s plan, he wanted to “finish school and be a Bohemian in Europe. Drink coffee, drink wine, smoke cigarettes and talk about art with some dead guys who aren’t around anymore.”


He won the San Francisco Weekly Mastermind Award in 2012. It was just a year after graduating from his Master’s at the Academy of Arts in SF.

Collaborations with Baldur Helgason