Helnwein, 55, is married to a former psychiatric nurse, Renata, who is the family manager and organizer. Together they have four children: Cyril, 28, a photographer and Helnwein's assistant; Mercedes, 24, a writer; Ali Elvis Donald, 23, a composer; and Wolfgang Amadeus, 17.
For seven years, the family has lived in Ireland, fond of its green spaces and tranquility. Helnwein had a studio in New York, but moved it to Los Angeles two and a half years ago, feeling that New York was "dead." He revels in the contrast between the peaceful and chaotic, and loves that "L.A. is everything," specifically talking about the diversity in ethnicities, religion, income and educational levels.