Monday, February 29, 2016

I've been thinking of works by a famous artist of the 1930s, Escher. The public is probably most familiar with his clever sketches of stairways with people walking on both sides of the lines forming the steps, a kind of 'trompe d'oeil'. There's a sense of plain methodical logic that carries the viewer into a fantastical state of existence. He also created numerous works of wildlife, such as birds, frogs, fish. Like his stairway art (which has a touch of art deco architecture about it) the creatures he draws are simple and precisely drawn. He creates patterns that play with the perceptions of the viewer - the fishes visually fold into birds and back into fishes, depending on what parts of the art you focus on. What entrances me is that something as concrete and straightforward as his sketches can capture the flow of qi or soul, as though the essence of a school of fish might transform into that of a flock of birds, and back again into that of fish.

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