Friedensreich Hundertwasser

I <-- do not like to eat cherries,
I because <-- have to throw away the
stalks and spit out the stones
I <-- do not like to eat bananas,
I because <-- have to throw away
the peels
I <-- do not like to eat nuts, because
I <-- have to throw away the shells
I <-- do not like to eat oranges,
because the peels are too bitter
I <-- like to eat apples and pears
I <-- like to eat lemons, entire
lemons with their peel, cut into
very thin slices, with sugar
I <-- like to eat potatoes (with peels)
(and you must not pour away the
cooking water from vegetables and
potatoes, you should drink it)
I <-- do not like to buy colours in
tubes or pots, in bowls or cups,
I because <-- have to throw away
metal and porcelain
I <-- do not like to paint with colours
from paper-bags, because the
picture does not eat the wrapping
I <-- like to paint with genuine and
expensive and pure colours,
bought pulverized by the gram
I <-- also like to paint with the
button-shaped water-colours by
Günther Wagner (you can scratch off
the small bits of paper on their
backs and swallow them)
I <-- use colours down to the last,
tiniest drop
I <-- set all my colours side by side,
it would be a pity to have them cover
I each other if <-- painted them one
on top of the other, except if they
are transparent and
I <-- can look through
I <-- do not pour away the water
I with which <-- clean my palette
I but <-- spread and brush it onto the
I painting on which <--
also clean my brushes.
I This way <-- am sure that no
_________colour is lost

9 15


Written in Vienna 1957 for the Poster catalogue for Gallery St. Stephan: My eyes are tired, Vienna, 1957 (German).

Published in:

Blätter und Bilder No. 7, Würzburg/Germany, 1960 (German)

Hundertwasser. Vollständiger Œuvre Katalog. Publiziert aus Anlaß der 100. Ausstellung der Kestner-Gesellschaft seit ihrer Wiedereröffnung nach dem Kriege.Text by Wieland Schmied (ed.), with 100 coloured reproductions.Kestner-Gesellschaft Hannover, Hanover, 1964, p. 36 (German)

as “Colour poem” in: Catalogues of the World Travelling Museum Exhibition 1975–1987: French edition: Paris, Luxembourg, Marseille, Cairo, 1975; Copenhagen, Dakar, 1976; Montreal, Brussels, 1978. English edition: Tel Aviv, Reykjavik, 1976; Cape Town, Pretoria, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Brasilia, Caracas, 1977; Mexico City, Toronto, 1978; Rome, Høvikodden, 1980; Helsinki, 1981; London, 1983. German edition: Warsaw, 1976; Pfäffikon/Lake Zurich, 1979; Cologne, 1980; Vienna, Graz, 1981.

Schurian, Walter (ed.): Hundertwasser – Schöne Wege, Gedanken über Kunst und Leben. (Beautiful Paths – Thoughts on Art and Life) Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag (dtv), 1983, pp. 109-110 and ed. 2004 (Munich, Langen Müller Verlag), pp. 129-130 (German)