Friday, November 27, 2009

Friedensreich Hundertwasser's Five Skins

The First Skin - Epidermis/Inner Truth
The Second Skin - Clothes
The Third Skin - Houses
The Fourth Skin - Social and National Identity
The Fifth Skin - Global Environment, Ecology and Mankind


My Dissertation, "The Five Skins Redefined", examined the existential theory of the artist and activist (and huge influence of mine) Friedensreich Hundertwasser.

Hundertwasser began his career as a painter in the late 1940s. As the century wore on and the scope of his vision grew, he turned his hand to printmaking, graphic design, stamp design and even architecture. His work was notable for its complete lack of straight lines and bold, vivid colours.

In many ways, he was years ahead of his time. He was an ecological activist, believing that the preservation of the earths environment is mankind's primary responsibility... long before most people had any idea of climate change and global warming.
Amongst other things, he designed humous toilets, water filtration devices and living systems that involved trees being planted within buildings as 'Tree Tenants', so that they might reclaim their place in the spaces of the city.

In the early years, he had a habit of reading his public speeches in the buff.

Throughout his career he developed an existential theory that he called the 'Five Skins'. He believed that every human being has five skins that make up their personality and relationship with social and global environments. These were 'Epidermis' - the biological skin, 'Clothes' - the manmade skin, 'Houses' - the protective skin, 'Identity' - the social skin and 'Environment' - the global skin. Hundertwasser decreed that man could not achieve wholeness until he understood each of these skins and engaged with them. The ultimate aim of this engagement was for mankind to establish a closer relationship with his inner self and the ecology of his planet.

The illustrations above feature in an edited picture book version of my dissertation and were created through a double layer mono-printing process.

5 comments:

  1. COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



    NOT!!!!HAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  2. VERY INFORMATIVE!

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  3. I like it it is weird but it is so true it just speaks to you in a way nothing else does.

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  4. Thanks for this, very helpful.
    - An art teacher

    ReplyDelete