Maruits Cornelis Escher was born in 1898 in Holland. Escher was not a good student, especially in math, and only finished high school because of his art classes. His father, a hydraulics engineer, sent him to architectural school, but in two days he transferred to graphic arts.

When he was twenty-four he moved to Italy where he traveled and created drawings. In 1935 he and his family, fearing war, went to Switzerland.

Escher was always interested in unusual perspectives. Early in his career he made realistic drawings of buildings with dramatic view points. The buildings in his work were always constructed with mathematical precision. Later he began putting buildings together in his drawings in marvelous, impossible ways. Escher once said that the purpose of his art was “to give people a shock.” To achieve this in his work, he played tricks with gravity, scale and perspective.

A visit in 1936 to the Alhambra, and old palace in Spain, showed Escher how the Moorish artists had made fantastic mosaic tile designs. These mosaics had complex, interwoven patterns. He began to adapt the complexity of these mosaics to his own works, but fitted in real objects, instead of geometric shapes.

At first only mathematicians and physicists enjoyed his works, he was largely ignored by art critics until the 1960’s. He continued making prints until he died in 1972.

RELATIVITY - If you feel a little dizzy and disoriented when you take a walk with the strange, faceless creatures going up, or is it down the stairs, then Escher has succeeded in defying the laws of nature and logic, disturbing your equilibrium.

Relativity is acomplex and interwoven pattern. The structures look architectually correct and solid at first glance, but when we look closer you can see impossible situations with a strange use of perspective. 

Notice how the light source changes as you go up or down the stairs. Sometimes the outside of this precisely drawn piece of architecture becomes the inside.


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