Monday, 14 February 2011

The Escher Museum

I enjoyed my visit to the Escher House (as I stepped inside I resisted the temptation to yell out 'MC Escher IN DA HOUSE!'). There are various representations of the man's long face with its beard and fat cedilla moustache, like a Dutch D H Lawrence. Then the many, many lovely images themselves; variations on a handful of themes, exquisitely and almost machinically worked. There’s something Kraftwerk-y about almost all his prints and lithographs; which, clearly, is a very good thing.

Although, having said that: what struck me, which hadn’t struck me before, was the sexual aspect of his work. Of course, many—perhaps most—of these gorgeously intricate images have the chilly abstraction of geometry; but the tessellations of figures are something else. Or perhaps it’s just me—but the way the design fits two human beings, or indeed angels-and-devils, or animals—into such a close proximity can hardly help but carry with it erotic connotations. Take, for example:

The black man and the white man at the front are shaking hands; but the black man and the white man at the back are, surely, engaging in an act of oral sex. No? Excellent stuff.

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