|Friedrich Stowasser, born Dec. 15th, 1928 in Vienna, calls
himself Hundertwasser, as well as Friedensreich, Regentag (Rainy
Day) or Dunkelbunt (Dark-Bright). The wealth of his names
reflects his versatility as a painter, graphic artist, architect and
Because of the matter-of-fact way he makes people aware of identities and his championing of environmental causes. Hundertwasser sees himself as a revivalist of the Viennese Art Nouveau style and a contemporary Gustav Klimt or Egon Schiele. In fact his decorative and interlacing style with its lavish use of golden colour does follow the traditions of the pre-World War I Viennese Art Nouveau. Although his pictorial compositions rarely follow a conclusive logic, they do have an organisational quality about them. It is this quality which has enabled him to realise a number of construction projects, the design of which he sees as an answer to what he considers de-humanising architecture.
His most famous work, the Hundertwasser house in Vienna, was first rented to tenants on Feb. 17th, 1987. Hundertwasser has been living for long periods in New Zealand since 1974, adopting the names Regentag and Dunkelbunt for his work. The globetrotter Hundertwasser often speaks up for environmental protection, against nuclear energy and for architecture that pays more attention to people's needs. Since the 1970's he has been deeply committed to preserving the environment, underscoring his views with manifestos and campaigns.