Buckminster Fuller

R. Buckminster Fuller (July 12, 1895 – July 1, 1983) has been one of my heroes since I first learned of him when he designed the US exhibit for the 1967 World Expo in Montreal. I was twelve and I read several articles by him and about him. I learned about ephemeralism and synergism and the dymaxion globe and geodesic domes. Most importantly I learned to question authority. All the major and minor powers were and are squandering the resources of the world on war-making. If they would just wake up, they could realize if they spent all those resources on housing, feeding and caring for people, there would be abundance enough to share, and no need to go to war for anything. If we put our minds to “living lightly” on the earth, instead of bleeding her dry, there is plenty to go around for everyone.

Bucky Fuller was trained as an architect. He was known as an author, a systems engineer, an inventor, a philosopher, a scientist, a genius. He didn’t like being called an inventor, though he held dozens of patents. He felt he merely uncovered what was always there, or rearranged existing basic machines. This didn’t seem like a big deal to him, even if he were the first to do it in a certain way to solve a certain problem. He was always working to solve problems. He developed a discipline to rapidly get to REM sleep so he only required two 1 hour naps every day, allowing him 22 waking hours to work.

I painted this based on a photo of Buckminster as a young man, because it was at age 28, when his 4 year-old daughter died of complications of polio that he went through a crisis of depression. He came out of it with a commitment to search for ways to make the world a better place, with an emphasis on affordable housing. He felt his daughter’s death was partly to blame on the poor, damp apartment they were living in.

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.”

“When I’m working on a problem, I never think about beauty.
But when I’ve finished, if the solution isn’t beautiful, I know it’s wrong.”

“Man knows so much and does so little.”

“The minute you begin to do what you really want to do,
it’s really a different kind of life.”

“Either war is obsolete or men are.”

R. Buckminster Fuller

The painting is acrylic on 12″ x 12″ stretched canvas.

Price: $150 including postage to US address.

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