(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘M.C. Escher

“The element of mystery to which you want to draw attention should be surrounded and veiled by a quite obvious, readily recognisable commonness”*…

Day And Night (1938)

An appreciation of the marvelous M.C. Escher…

Despite being a fan of Rennaisance Art and the work of the Impressionists, he feels increasingly pulled in a different direction…

When you look at this picture, you’re flipping between world views. Either you’re seeing the white birds, and the bright, presumably sunlit day scene with its cheerful flotilla of steam ships puffing their way upriver – or you’re seeing the black birds, and your eye is drawn to the night-shrouded landscape where the houses have their lights on and the sky’s already eaten the horizon & is creeping nearer…

Except, that’s not quite right. The black birds are in the daylight side, and the white ones are flying into the night. These aren’t just mirror images: they’re like the Ancient Chinese yin-yang symbol, each side containing part of its opposite…

Escher’s love of the fantastical is primarily inspired by what he sees around him, not what he can dream up out of next to nothing… By looking closely at the real world, and trying to understand how it works, Escher will invite his initially small but intensely loyal fanbase to explore some very strange mysteries indeed.

Ascending And Descending (1960)

It’s the 1960s now, and nonconformity is all the rage. Hair is getting longer, psychedelics-powered artistry is flourishing, and anything that seems to scream to hell with the rules is increasingly in vogue… Because of the fantastical elements of his work, Escher is acquiring a reputation as a surrealist. As a self-identifying “reality enthusiast,” it’s the very last thing he wants. Take Ascending & Descending, where he’s clearly turning his imagination to the futility of so much in the human-centred world. In a letter to a friend, he says:

“Yes, yes, we climb up and up, we imagine we are ascending; one step is about 10 inches high, terribly tiring – and where does it get us? Nowhere.”

But until the end of his career, his work will continue to speak to something deeper – a rebellion against human incuriosity, or a constant rallying-cry for the act of paying attention…

Read it in full: “Fooling With Certainty: The Impossibly Real Worlds Of MC Escher,” from Mike Sowden (@Mikeachim)

* M. C. Escher

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As we look closely, we might recall that it was on this date in 1859 that our perspective was shifted in a different kind of way: Charles Darwin published The Origin of the Species.  Actually, on that day he published On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life; the title was shortened to the one we know with the sixth edition in 1872.

Title page of the 1859 edition

source

(Roughly) Daily will be on a brief Thanksgiving hiatus, returning when the the tryptophan haze has passed…

Getting in touch with your inner Escher…

David Bailey has a fascination with tiling– tessellation– and happily, he’s happy to share…

While most dictionaries define “tessellate” simply as arranging tiles or squares into a regular, mosaic pattern, mathematicians understand it to mean the repeating of any shape– the more irregular, the more challenging– to cover a surface leaving no gaps.

Bailey shares examples of his own work (as above), essays and reviews at www.tess-elation.co.uk.

As we rethink our bathroom floors, we might send tasty birthday greetings to S. Truett Cathy, the founder of Chick-fil-A; he was born on this date in 1921.  Mr. Cathy’s creation is considered by many to be the “In-N-Out Burger of chicken sandwich outlets” for both of two reasons: It’s offerings are considered by connoisseurs to be the class of their class, and it’s culture is deeply influenced by Mr. Cathy’s religious convictions (as is In-N-Out’s by the founding Snyder family’s beliefs).

source: Georgia Encyclopedia

Written by (Roughly) Daily

March 14, 2010 at 3:02 am

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