Tuesday, June 8, 2010

heart's home

There are times when serenity is hard to find. Contentment isn't just about us as individuals and where we are at a particular place and time and whether or not we are replete with food and drink. We experience our lives as separate beings but we know deep down we are connected to one another. Sometimes there's a deep sadness that can't be explained.. and sometimes we know why but can't change the larger circumstance. It's time like these that I go in search of things that might cheer me and you as well.

I must thank my friend and fine artist Steve for introducing me to the work, especially the architecture, of Hundertwasser who was born in Austria in 1928 and spent his life not only imagining but building beautiful places for people to live in and enjoy.

A house,

an unusual house,

that does not correspond to

the usual cliches and norms

of academic architecture

a house conceived and designed
by a painter

an adventure in modern times

a journey to an unknown land

a journey into the land of creative architecture

where there are window rights
and tree tenants

and uncontrolled irregularities

uneven floors,
woodlands on the roof

spontaneous vegetation

and barriers of beauty

a journey into the land

where nature and man meet in creation

a report about the first free house

a painter dreams

a painter dreams about houses and

a beautiful architecture in which man is free

and this dream becomes a reality
- Hundertwasser

May we all find our heart's home.


  1. i think i have met more amazing artists as a result of our dear steve, whom i miss in our small blogging world....this is fun, a sweet post in a very depressing time for us all...we have no need for words to express it, it just is but someday, it will be different and something else will take it's place and our attention...in the meantime, i love looking at these, his curiosity and amazing vision is still fantastic all these many years later........be well, my friend and forgive me for my not being about much lately ... again....same old same old... ♥

  2. Oohhh - I want to live there! I cannot imagine being melancholic coming home to such a building.

    Thank you, Susan (and Steve.)

  3. Wow that is an amzing building Susan.

  4. Hi Susan
    Austria is indeed a beautiful place and Vienna was our pick of all of the highlights experienced. It’s easy to feel a connectedness to the city and probably experience those same vibes when hearing a Straus waltz as what occurred when it was first performed – particularly when you’re hearing the music in that same building where it was first introduced to subsequently result in Straus mania. Walking past the coffee house where Freud visited each morning before giving lectures at the nearby university invokes strong feelings of connectedness to the past and an affinity to the streetscape.
    Best wishes

  5. I'm completely digging that second building. I could find that contentment there.

  6. linda - Yes, our friend Steve has a remarkable and comprehensive list of fine artists to surprise us with, doesn't he? It's always a delight when he's able to stop by and make some deep and cogent interpretations of what one was attempting to convey visually.

    No worries about visiting. You know I'll always drop by to see what you've been up to.

    the crow - So glad to see you again. Yes, I'd dearly love to live in one of his architectural creations.

    jams - Even if I couldn't live there I'd love to just walk past now and again :-)

    lindsay - I've never visited Vienna but it's one of those places I've seen in pictures and film quite often. I envy you having been in a place with so many delights for the eye and heart. I'm sure there must be skyscrapers there too but there'll be so many more human scaled buildings than we see in western cities.

    randal - Me too. It was my favorite of places he designed where people can live.

  7. I've known of Hundertwasser for a while, and think that if I had to live in an apartment, one of these would be delightful indeed! And I want to see Vienna, Austria even more because of these! Online travel might be the easiest way though for this body and for this earth?

    (And good luck with become Haligonians.... you deleted that post before I could comment.)

  8. Marv!! my new digs are in a cluster of row houses. all brown and boring and status quo. i'd love to paint mine delicious colors on the exterior... and if not for the horrific winters, i could SO have a tree growing out a window!!! loved the guerilla gardening clip. there's a big riparian zone next to my ReStore that could do with a sprinkling of wildflowers.... hmmmmm

    i hope plans for the move go smoothly.

  9. when one thinks about the boring houses we live in. "little boxes' i think the song called them. i hope our lives aren't as boring.
    that's the value of art and artists- wouldn't life be boring and dreary without art?

  10. marja-leena - He's pretty amazing and I'd love to see these buildings in reality too - as well as the rest of Vienna. It's good to know the world still has places that aren't completely homogenized.

    I did take down the Haligonian post the next morning - something I've done only once before. Thanks for the good wishes.

    gfid - Yes, our place isn't much to look at from the outside either so these just make my heart sing. Flowers always look good and they really are gifts to everyone who sees them.

    sera - I'm sure many of us have lives that aren't nearly as boring as the places we're stuck inhabiting but places more colorful and organic would be better. At least now I'm thinking of a new painting.

  11. Soooo beautiful. I love this post. And, Ihave to say that I so admire people who take risks with architecture. There is something about house and home that seems to inspire safe choices.
    I don't know Hundertwasser. But I already love him. Something about his work reminds me of Gaudi, who I adore.

    unrelated: just yesterday Lily tried to fly after a crow. It made me think of you and Crow.

  12. Oh, I like this very much! Made me happy just knowing that someone put his talent to work creating beautiful spaces for people to live in and enjoy - together.

  13. Hi Susan
    There are virtually no skyscrapers in Vienna and only a handful of buildings over 40 metres in height in a city of 1.7 million. Building legislation aims to preserve the green areas and planning severely limits any high-rise developments with much of the city subject preservation under world heritage status. The inner city were visited was a high-rise free zone. The prevailing thought throughout Europe is that it is ‘better to spend 3 times the amount restoring a 1,000 year old building than to build a new one the same size.'
    Of course Austria has the luxury of a huge revenue base arising from tourism.
    Best wishes

  14. Wow, I would love to live in one of his homes.

  15. belette - I'd be more than willing to take a chance on living in something as risky, and beautiful, as one of these places.

    Crow says if Lily keeps practicing she may just do it one day :-)

    pagan - His paintings are really interesting too.

    lindsay - I know there are no skyscrapers in Paris either. It would be a crime to tear down a thousand year old building or even a 500 year old one just to put up a cracker box. Out here on the west coast there are very few buildings one hundred years old beautiful landmarks are rare.

    nancy - We could be neighbors :-)

  16. Wonderful! I saw the first photo in the post and thought, "Oh! my favorite!" and only later realized that you found out about him from one of my posts...

    Taschen has had a 25th anniversary series going lately, and I have now placed three separate orders for the big beautiful hardback books (only $10.19 each!). The Hundertwasser in the series is the only one of my favorite artists that I did not buy. I already had it!

    Someday I would love to create a place this whimsical and live in it. Like some of the places described in Hamjamser (www.hamjamser.blogspot.com).

  17. steve - It really would be nice to live in a place so beautiful especially if it was in an area equally harmonious. Maybe once we grow up as a race such places will be common.. good thought.

    I'll definitely check out the Taschen copy of Hundertwasser. His paintings are marvelous too but the buildings are sock knockers :-) I've finally gone and added hamjamser to my blog roll since you've reminded me again. I do love the stories and illustrations there. If it's your son doing them then he is quite a remarkable artist as well as writer.

  18. I love this post. It was a tonic just now.

  19. I have fallen in love with a dead man (his art, anyway...but maybe him, too) and I have you to thank for that.

    His work has reawakened my love of color and playing with color, one of the things I've suppressed for too many years.

    This is a very good thing, and I hug you close for bringing me back to it.

  20. the crow - Hearing you say that makes me very happy. Life is difficult enough anyway so reaffirming our love of color is a true blessing. I'd really love to come by and have tea with the two of you when you get together :-)