Have you seen the work of a famous M.C. Escher? If you were born within the last 100 years, chances are you have. Escher did what no other man before or after him had done. He drew some of the most intriguing pieces of artwork anyone has ever seen. He became very skilled at using perspective to fool the eye of the average person.
His art became known around the world and some artists have even tried to replicate it. I was about 11 years old when I first saw his work. I was very confident that I could replicate at least one of the ‘simpler’ ones. I was a good drawer, and I gave it a shot. I worked on it and after a few hours, I became convinced I could not do it. I mean, I could trace his drawings and not surprisingly, they would have the same perspective as the original drawings, but I could not recreate the same effect out of drawing it myself.
When I saw his other drawings, it got me studying books on perspective. Although it did improve my drawings, I could not get anything close to the famous artist. Some people have even gone so far as to try to build Escher’s famous drawings as projects. Do you think someone could do it? Well, apparently someone did.
A small group of architects got together and studied the famous sketches. They tried to figure out if such a construction would even be possible with our laws of physics. Remember, Escher’s drawings are 2-dimensional renditions of 3-dimensional objects. But that’s all they are, drawings. One of the architects was convinced that if it could be drawn, then it could be built.
They built it in Rochester, NY, and it is known as the “Escherian Stairwell.” This architectural marvel seems to violate the laws of physics. When you stand on the ‘ground floor’ everything looks normal. People who go to this site to check out to see how the myth was really built. They check all the surroundings, and nothing seems to be out of place.
To show it, a TV show took their cameras to the site to try to get volunteers to experience it by themselves. Their first volunteer is a graduate student. She has never been to the site before and hasn’t even heard of the tourist attraction. She is standing on the ground floor with the TV host when she is asked to go to the first floor. “I’ll meet you up there,” says the TV host. The woman slowly makes her way up, checking every few steps to see if it’s some sort of prank. When she gets to the floor above, her jaw drops!