And on this level Helnwein soon found the degree of efficacy that he was seeking. Helnwein's cover portraits for leading popular magazines did more than just help him to "wake up famous", Byron-fashion. They introduced Helnwein to the elite, to the cult figures of pop culture: rock idols, film stars and politicians, as well as avant-garde artists, those who nailed their colours to the flag of "high" in the eternal opposition of high and low culture. This interest in cult figures was never to desert him, though with time would be directed elsewhere: at the very mechanism of mass publicity - what makes certain figures so charismatic, identifiable and revered? Or, to be more exact, how do they live up to the expectations of the public? What is it that the popular viewer wants to see, identify and revere in them? This hijacking of the leading lights of "high" or avant-garde culture (Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon) by popular culture was also the subject of his research. How does radical art, the property of the elite, evolve into a phenomenon of popular success?