Inspiring: Hundertwasser Prints

Did I ever tell you I hate the word inspirational? Inspirational is the English language equivalent to Chicken Soup for Soul. Overdone. I’d take inspiring over inspirational any day. Inspiring is active, it’s happening right now. Things are changing for the better.

My printmaking professor, Natalie, insisted that we seek inspiring works in print every week. They could be good or bad, meaning if you saw a print that was so ugly to your eye that it inspired you to do the exact opposite, boom. That counts. For at least one week we were sent on assignment to see the prints in real life. My buddy Jared and I ventured out to Pioneer Square for Davidson Galleries. I was really excited to see Jonelle Johnson’s work which is incredible and definitely did not disappoint. But, slowly, my attention was called to the overall inspiring nature of Davidson. There’s a gorgeous spread up front, but then in the back there are remnants from past shows. Even more impressive, they have art in all price ranges. Yes, there were the $50,000 prints as you’d expect in any gallery, but there was also immaculate works for as little as $120. We couldn’t believe it.

Then tucked way, way in the back and up some stairs we found this guy:


One of Five Seamen
Silk screen in 18 colors with metal imprints in 2 colors. Edition of 250 in 5 variants. Signed and numbered. 1975. Printed by Studio Quattro, Venice-Mestre. Published by Gruener Janura AG, Glarus, Switzerland. Koschatzky 66, HWG 748.
33-5/8 x 22-7/8 inches.
$7,200. unframed

It’s a Freidensreich  Hundertwasser print and it’s breathtaking. But also breathgiving. There were 250 made. That alone is an incredible amount of work considering this piece has 18 colors and 2 metal imprints! And each layer has to line up perfectly, that’s what printmakers mean when they say registration. Registration was definitely my least favorite printmaking task. Let me tell you I did an edition of 40 in only 3 colors and was tuckered out for two days after! It’s hard to see in this image but down in the right hand corner there’s a listing of all the variations in the edition along with their numbers. The listing itself is done in a separate metal imprint!

This was seriously so beautiful to behold up close I had to take a five-minute eye break before looking at anything else. Talk about inspiring!

Even though I’m done with printmaking class I want to keep up the tradition of finding inspiring works and, of course, I’ll be sharing them with you. Not just in realm of printmaking, either, but all over the place. ‘Cause you know I am.

What’s inspiring you today? Did you see my interview with Lauren yesterday? Do you find yourself vomiting in your mouth when you hear inspirational, or is that just me?




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