10 Fast Facts We Bet You Didn’t Know About Friedensreich Hundertwasser

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Born on the 15th of December, 1928, Friedensreich Hundertwasser was an Austrian born visionary painter as well as spiritual ecologist. Originally born under the name Friedrich Stowasser, he began signing all his work under the name Hundertwasser and eventually had it for a last name soon after. He was popular for his work featuring spiral designs which exploded in vibrant colors, incorporating patterns and fun, free forms of shape. He was a pivotal force in the movement for contemporary art, although no titles were given to him. For more awesome facts about the Austrian talent,

Here are 10 fast facts we bet you didn’t know about Friedensreich Hundertwasser:

Fact 1: Friedensreich Hundertwasser was known for his use of vibrant colors and incorporating free flowing shapes, organic and natural forms, as well as spirals within his creations, and would often stay away from straight lines and any of that sort.

Fact 2: The great Austrian artists was a boy scout. Well, figuratively speaking, that is. He was already armed with a “go-to” kit of travel sized paint tubes and brushes, so that he could paint anything that inspired him on his travels. When inspiration strikes, you paint!

Fact 3: There was trouble in paradise, because two years after marrying his first wife Herta Leitner, the two divorced after irreconcilable differences. Hundertwasser met the same fate yet again, when he wed and divorced his second lady friend Yuko Ikeweda, of Japanese descent. She was a painter as well, and even gave birth to a little girl, but their love for art wasn’t enough to save their marriage. They got divorced in the year 1966.

Fact 4: Friedensreich Hundertwasser is one of the richest artists in history. Instead of living in humble recluse, he spent his earnings and invested in property such as saw mills, farm houses, and the grand historical garden Giardino Eden.

Fact 5: Though he was an important figure in the movement for contemporary art, the Austrian artist faced many hurdles and controversies throughout his career. Baptized and born as a Jew, and believed to be an unremarkable one at that, he renounced his religion and joined the Hitler Youth group in order to save himself and start anew, much to the disappointment of his family.

Fact 6: The many talents Friedensreich Hundertwasser were put to good use, because he was also responsible for the construction and design for a church and day care center in Frankfurt, Germany. Spreading the good, like everyone should!

Fact 7: He was a diverse artist, and did not limit his art to the confinement of a wall or canvas. His great pieces of art also include designs for clothing, art and emblem design for flags, post stamp designs for Austria, as well as Senegal and the Cape Verde Islands. He was even responsible for creating the design for the Austrian Mint’s relief medallions, and contributed several posters to environmental groups and causes.

Fact 8: Friedensreich Hundertwasser was a lover of all things colorful, natural, and bright. He had a special place in his heart for flowers and other beautiful, delicate objects that were not confined within straight lines. You could say that he hated lines in general, and it was evident in all of his art work, featuring mostly spirals and the like.

Fact 9: He died aboard a ship, the S.S. Queen Elizabeth II, in late 2000. He was 71 years old when he passed away, and was buried in New Zealand where he got his second citizenship in years earlier.
Fact 10: He was responsible for the Koru Flag, which is, to this day, one of his most famous pieces within his extensive art collection.

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