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Hundertwasser

Architecture Vegetale, Hundertwasser, 1956
Architecture Vegetale, Hundertwasser, 1956

Hundertwasser is an artist that I loved since I was a little kid. I sadly rarely encounter his works in art galleries or museums, but whenever I do, I get lost in his lines. The lines are for me what characterizes the most his work. Lines and colors of course!
No dull colors, always dark and vibrant ones that spike your interest and shake you awake.
It was with great pleasure that I visited his museum in Vienna, and certainly the highlight of our trip to Austria.
So I wanted to share a few bits of Hundertwasser in this post.

CREATION

Hundertwasser, in a nutshell, explains that the way he does art is “vegetative”, he never thinks about it prior to creation. It just happens, flowing out of him.
He deems it necessary not to think about it, stating that ambition and over achieving should be put aside, in order for the creativity to freely flow.
He even goes further, saying that neither intelligence, diligence nor goodness help.
Creativity is for him something exterior and thus he adheres to the idea of muse, of an external force that guides the artist, whose only job is to be ready, so that this creative force can reach him.

COLORS

Colors are at the core of his work and he has a very precise way of describing which type of colors he loves.
In his own words, he says that he loves dark colors, as opposed to pastel ones, which are dull and lifeless.
He insists on the importance of using dark colors, which he describes as those you can see on a rainbow just after heavy stormy rain.

Eye of the Sun God - The Target, Hundertwasser, 1959
Eye of the Sun God – The Target, Hundertwasser, 1959

ARCHITECTURE

Next to being an artist he was very adamant on the notion of architecture. He wrote on numerous occasions that everyone should be able to build their own house as they see fit.
Of course, he was more specifically criticizing utilitarian architecture. But I think at heart he wanted to point out how creative all humans are, and how vital it is for us to live our creativity, to build things with our own hands, to live and use what we produced ourselves.

“The tangible and material uninhabitability of slums is preferable to the moral uninhabitability of utilitarian, functional architecture. In the so-called slums only the human body can be oppressed, but in our modern functional architecture, allegedly constructed for the human being, man’s soul is perishing, oppressed. ”
(Mouldiness Manifesto against Rationalism in Architecture)

Every man should be allowed to paint around his windows as far as his arms reach, to show the world, here I am! This is me! I am unique!
This questioning might seem a bit odd, but people living in high buildings that all look the same have often an identity crisis, and even in terms of practicability, they loose themselves, going to another building that looks exactly like theirs.

He goes as far as stating that architecture is a fraud as the architect, the builder and the one who is going to live in the building are three separate entities. If there is no connection between the three, than nobody truly cares and architecture is nonsensical.
Architects have their importance of course, they have the knowledge, but they simply should put it to the service of the inhabitants, working directly with them, hand in hand.

THE STRAIGHT LINE

To say Hundertwasser didn’t like straight lines is an understatement. At the core, he dislikes straight lines because they are unnatural and he feels the more we are disconnected to nature, our true self, the more likely we will be unhappy, out of phase with ourselves.
I might add that the current development of our societies confirms that intuition. We are so out of tune with nature that we lost touch with our inner self and often happiness, but that is another topic.

“The straight line is not a creative line, it is a duplicating line, an imitating line. In it, God and the human spirit are less at home than the comfort-craving, brainless intoxicated and unformed masses.”
(Mouldiness Manifesto against Rationalism in Architecture)

Le Grand Chemin, 1955, Hundertwasser
Le Grand Chemin, 1955, Hundertwasser

NATURE

Nature is above all irreproachable in his eyes, it is perfect by definition and man should work around, work with it and not against it.
Regarding architecture and urbanism, he thought that nature needed to be put back into our cities, trees planted on facades, on roofs.
Nature growing back, taking back the space we took.
He was urging us to protect as much wild nature as we could and to destroy as little as needed for us to create our houses.

Manica di Camicia, 1969, Hundertwasser
Manica di Camicia, 1969, Hundertwasser

FIVE SKINS

Hundertwasser sees the man surrounded by five “skins”.
1 – Epidermis, our own skin and nakedness
2 – Clothes
3 – Houses
4 – Identity and social environment, family, nation, relationships
5 – Earth
He originally wrote about the first three skins only, but after 1972, once it was clear we were living in an era where mankind has a direct impact on nature, he added two new ones.

HANDMADE ART PRINTS

He also worked a lot on prints using plenty of different techniques to create the most astonishing handmade prints. You can still buy some of them in fact! And they are actually affordable.
His work was quite complex so he had to explain how each should be done and with which techniques, as often several different techniques were used for one single image.
Below just one of those graphic works. You can spot on the bottom colored signs, those indicate the process he wanted.

Flooded sleep, 1975, Hundertwasser
Flooded sleep, 1975, Hundertwasser

 

This post is of course very short, so if you are interested in his artworks and writings, I invite you to check out the websites below.

xx
Stéphanie

Reference
All pictures from http://www.hundertwasser.com/oeuvre/paintings
Official Hundertwasser website http://www.hundertwasser.at
Full Artwork Documentation – Paintings, Architecture, …
Five skins http://hundertwasser.com/skin

Play & Fear

Mushroom Composition #2 (Rainbow), Watercolor Painting, 2018, Stephanie Kilgast
Mushroom Composition #2 (Rainbow), Watercolor Painting, 2018, Stephanie Kilgast

Lately I have been doing a lot of watercolor paintings.
There are very enjoyable for me to do.
There’s not much thinking.
Mostly lines and colors.
Sometimes I fail.
Sometimes I succeed.
I would say they are pretty.
Some of them are more “in line” with my current sculptural series of growth on objects.
Growth on buildings.
Growth in halls.
Growth on walls.
But sometimes, the watercolors are just…
pretty.
And so I am afraid of sharing them.
They seem too little.
Too easy.
Too pointless.
I enjoy making them,
which as a whole should be
enough.
But the gaze of others is always looming.
Some artists,
on top of making beautiful art,
use their artwork to teach about the natural world (Tiffany Bozic)
Are engaged for crucial matters (the dying of corals with Courtney Coral)
Talk about emotional and mental issues (Christina Mrozik)
And so I feel my work is never enough.
Especially the paintings.
But play is important.
And they make me happy.
So I do them anyway.
Despite the doubts.

Stéphanie

If you like these paintings, you’ll find them here.
You’ll also find prints and more on society6 and redbubble.

Cyltonic

Cyltonic, 2018, Mixed Media Sculpture on Can, Stephanie Kilgast
Cyltonic, 2018, Mixed Media Sculpture on Can, Stephanie Kilgast

Hey folks!

I am back from the Czech Republic since this week-end so I was finally able to finish this sculpture.
I found this cleaning agent can on a flea market last summer. I am pretty sure that I paid way too much for something that is basically just trash, but hey, what you don’t do for art!
Since the colors of the can are very dominant, I simply went with that bicolor composition and created a crazed mushroom and corals growth on top.
I kept things simple, with just a few shapes that I repeated over and over, as I did want to compliment the can in a way and not distract from it.

This sculpture is currently available and you can find it in my shop.

I also made this time lapse video of the sculpting process for my youtube channel, which you might want to check out!

I hope I can find the time to go through the pictures of my recent travels, as they have been quite inspiring to my work, especially Prague.
xx
Stéphanie

Inktober 2018

Poisonous, Inktober #1, 2018, Stephanie Kilgast
Poisonous, Inktober #1, 2018, Stephanie Kilgast

Hellooo!

This year, I decided to take part of the yearly art challenge “Inktober“!
If you’ve never heard about it, it is a daily art challenge that runs through October.
It’s been created by artist Jake Parker and has run since then. Every year new artists join the fun and there’s also a prompt list to get you going.
The idea is to create an ink drawing everyday in order to become better at drawing with ink.
Of course, nowadays many use watercolors or other media.

Below you can see my painting uncolored, as pure ink, and also this year’s prompt list!
If you want to join into the fun, all you have to do is make a drawing, post it on social media and hastag with #inktober and #inktober2018 !

QUICK FAQ

Will the original paintings be sold?

YES! I will put up the original paintings up for sale when it’s over, so on November 1st!
Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter, so you don’t miss that!

Are you going to have prints?

Yup! Most likely going to at least put these on my society6 and redbubble shop. But bear with me, plenty of work right now, so you’ll have to be a little patient!

I love these paintings! Can you make a custom one for me?

Sure! Just get in touch and tell me what you’d like, the size and your price range and we’ll work something out!

Ok! that’s pretty much it!
If you’ll excuse me, I have a custom painting to make, yaaay!

xx
Stéphanie

 

Bee Disappearance

Bee Disappearance, 2018, Watercolor on Paper, Stephanie Kilgast
Bee Disappearance, 2018, Watercolor on Paper, Stephanie Kilgast

I finished a new watercolor painting for the wild bees series I am currently (rather loosely) working on.
You can buy it here. I hope to make nice prints of this one as well.

As you probably know, wild bees (and not just honey bees) are currently dying out. This is mostly due to our activities, that have dramatically changed the climate, but also the excessive amount of pesticides that we use for crops.
Insects are often seen as the ugly, freaky, slimy, alien little crawlers that annoy us more than anything else. But insects are much more useful to this planet than any other animals.
Thanks to them, we have earth and not just garbage all around the planet.
Flowers transform into edible fruit.
They are also a great source of food for other animals, and at the bottom of the food chain.
If they go, we loose. All of us.
Insects are key to a healthy ecosystem.
The so called “pest” actually keep a forest healthy as well, as in a healthy, biodiverse forest with many different trees and plants, they keep certain plants to overthrow others.
It is a subtle balance, that we currently just recklessly destroy.
We are all responsible, be the change you’d like to see and others will follow.
It’s never too late to extinguish a fire.

xx
Stéphanie