Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Crazy Cool - Friedensreich Hundertwasser

An article that appeared in Boing Boing captured my attention because it was about a theme park dedicated to beer. Pretty funny. I love a good Hefeweizen as much as anyone, but what delighted me was the distinctly Hundertwasser architecture.

Hundertwasser most definitely ranks as one of my favorite artists. His distinctive organic style and philosophies on life are evocative. He is well known for his refusal to use straight lines. Ever. Which yields some pretty interesting results in architecture.

I first encountered Hundertwasser at the Quixote Winery in Napa Valley. The building was a site to behold. A golden turret rising from the vineyards. Spectacularly unapologetic color. And the undulating floor and surfaces to reflect the organic and shun the straight line. And by the way, the wine was spectacular.

Years later, a trip to Vienna reignited my appreciation for Hundertwasser. The long trek across the city in near blizzard conditions was worth every step of effort when we arrived at Kunsthaus Wien. When I was in his buildings I felt lighter, I couldn't stop smiling, and I was more delighted with the discovery of every new detail in his creation. Every new painting of his I encountered was profound.  His unique spirit and appreciation for the world was truly an uplifting experience.

I guess that is it. Hundertwasser's work makes me smile, makes me feel joyful, makes me appreciate life. For me, that is the kind of art I want in my life.

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