His works are largescale, photorealistic paintings of horror. The artist has worked in diverse genres including watercolor, oil, and installation. However, his work's primary theme has always referenced his childhood. He does not render the beauty of childhood but spits an audacious, persistent interpretation of war, crime, damage, and holocaust. In "Adoration of the Magi", painted in 1996, for example, five men in Gestapo-like uniforms encircle a baby interpreted as Jesus or Hitler. Helnwein projects his weird vision without hesitation. Despite this uncanny quality, his works gain a high reputation, and are collected by many prestigious art museums around the world, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Smithsonian Museum.