Pop Culture, Inspired by Escher

Guest Post by MOA Marketing Intern, Dallin Adams

Maurits Cornelis Escher was often inspired not by his own surroundings, but rather by the many ideas swirling within his own mind. He drew inspiration from the ideas of duality, mirror images, multiple dimensions, relatives, infinity, impossible constructions, and many other complex ideas.

Although Escher did occasionally find inspiration by the objects and places surrounding him, he himself has become the inspiration for countless artists who followed him. His work is now seen in different places throughout the world and across multiple media. Here are just a few of the many mediums in which Escher’s presence can be observed.

1984-escher-cover– One of the world’s most famous books is 1984 by George Orwell. Sure enough, Escher’s work has found its way onto the cover. His work Tetrahedral Planetoid was featured on the cover of an edition of 1984 printed by Arnoldo Mondadori Editore in 2002.

Monument Valley is short video game made for tablets and phones. “Wired,” a popular tech magazine, wrote that it “might be the most beautiful iPad game of 2014” and it actually won the Apple Design Award for that year. Many of the game’s levels were inspired by Escher’s works. One of the most easily recognizable pieces of Escher’s work in the game is Waterfall. It also features multiple Penrose Triangles, which Escher is known for using in some of his works.

– Award-winning director Christopher Nolan takes inspiration from Escher as well. escher-relativityThere are two moments during his film Inception where actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt creates a perpetual staircase in a dream. These staircases were inspired by Escher’s work Ascending and Descending. In an interview with The Daily Beast, Nolan said, “I’m very inspired by the prints of M.C. Escher and the interesting connection-point or blurring of boundaries between art and science, and art and mathematics.”

The effect of Escher’s work can be seen everywhere. Come in and see Escher’s original work before it closes. M.C. Escher: Other Worlds will leave the BYU Museum of Art on May 19th.