It is Earth Day today. I like the earth, I like dirt. I like playing with mud in the form of clay.
Earth Day has been around since 1970. It was started by Gaylord Nelson, a senator from WI.
It was a response to a massive oil spill in California the previous year. He wanted to raise awareness of the effects crapping on our mother earth with air and water pollution.
The earth has been very good to me. In a very direct way, almost everything I make comes from the earth. I have to admit I take our Mother for granted more often then not. That is one reason why I a profoundly thankful for artists like Friedensreich Hundertwasser.
He was born Friedrich Stowasser in Vienna in 1928, and later changed his name to Friedensreich Hundertwasser which means Peace-Kingdom Hundred-Water.
I first saw his work in the 1980s. I knew nothing of him and his life but I was drawn into the energy his work (called straight lines "the devil's tools").
The more I found out about him the more wonderful his work became.
He was as much an environmental activist as an artist. These things were so intertwined that one cannot be separated from the other.
Not only did he paint with genius and invention, he also approached architecture and philosophy with the same avant-garde concepts.
He designed houses that not only incorporated nature, but they were in fact so intertwined that you could not separate one from another.
Roof tops on building gave back the space they occupied on the land.
Apartment buildings had "tree tenants"
where trees literally grew out of the windows.
He also believed that people in rented apartments had the right to paint around their windows as far as they could reach with a long handled brush, and design of their choosing to express their uniqueness as individuals.
He fought against the homogenization of people, of architecture and of thought
He lived a life that celebrated nature through his art.
Its been over 40 years since Earth Day was founded and our turds of pollution have just gotten bigger and messier. Our Mother must be really disappointed in us.
As Hundertwasser reminded us :
YOU ARE A GUEST OF NATURE
For more of his work check out http://www.hundertwasser.com/