Sunday, August 16, 2009

Friedensreich Hundertwasser

The new school year is rapidly approaching and I have been spending more and more time putting together start of year lesson plans and looking at my art teacher blogs. I was on one of my fav blogs today, art projects for kids, and Kathy had a new project up with a link to a artist I had never heard of before. My art history classes from college and intense studying for my art teacher testing has given me a pretty large mental encyclopedia of artist knowledge. Somehow this man has never come up in my studies.

I instantly fell in love with his stuff. The COLORS the fun, exciting movement of the lines within his images, the use of pattern! I think he might be my new favorite artist... well he is at least tied with Chagall. So Hundertwasser and his mom were Austrian Jews during world war 2 and they pretended to be Catholic to survive the war. He even joined Hitler's Youth to go to school, even art school in Germany and Austria.

Now I find this very interesting because Chagall was a Russian Jew and working about the same time. Both of them use these bright colors, these almost surreal images meshing humans and nature, the strong use of line to show movement and they have a mystical, uplifting feel. Did they both feel lucky to survive the war? Did they survive because they saw the bright side of life and appreciate nature?

Hundertwasser was also really interesting because he was an architect making these crazy buildings that look like they are rippling.

I wish I had a reason to write an academic paper comparing and contrasting their art works and lives.

What I thought was most interesting about his art is how incredibly modern it is. I mean it looks like some Portland Hipster painted his stuff. Do lots of people know about him and are influenced by him or is this a strange coincidence? There was limited info about him online, although a lot of images, so I somehow don't think your average hipster knows about him.

Here are a few works of his:

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