“The Paradise Destroyed by the Straight Line,”- Friedensreich Hundertwasser on Stamps and Lines

“The stamp is an important object. Although very small in format, it carries a message. Stamps are a measure of the culture of a country. This tiny, rectangular piece of paper links the hearts of the sender and receiver. It is a bridge between peoples and nations. The stamp knows no borders. It reaches us even in prisons, asylums, and hospitals, and wherever we may be on earth. Stamps should be ambassadors of art and life and not simply soulless proofs of postage paid. The stamp must experience its destiny. The stamp must once again fulfil its purpose, which means it must serve on letters. A true stamp must feel the tongue of the sender moistening its gum. A stamp must be stuck on a letter. A stamp must experience the dark depths of the post box. A stamp must suffer franking. A stamp must sense the hand of the postman handing the letter to the addressee….The stamp is the only work of art that everyone can own, young and old, rich and poor, healthy and sick, educated and ignorant, free or robbed of freedom…“

Hundertwasser, February 14, 1990


hunterwasser stamps


hunterwasser stamps


hunterwasser stamps


hunterwasser stamps


hunterwasser stamps

“In 1953 I realized that the straight line leads to the downfall of mankind. But the straight line has become an absolute tyranny. The straight line is something cowardly drawn with a rule, without thought or feeling; it is a line which does not exist in nature. And that the line is the rotten foundation of our doomed civilization. Even if there are certain places where it is recognized that this line is rapidly leading to perdition, its course continues to be plotted. The straight line is godless and immoral.

The straight line is the only uncreative line, the only line which does not suit man as the image of God. The straight line is the forbidden fruit. The straight line is the curse of our civilization. Any design undertaken with the straight line will be stillborn.

Today we are witnessing the triumph of rationalist knowhow and yet, at the same time, we find ourselves confronted with emptiness. An aesthetic void, desert of uniformity, criminal sterility, loss of creative power. Even creativity is prefabricated. We have become impotent. We are no longer able to create. That is our real illiteracy.”

Hunterwasser 1985

 

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