Friday, August 5, 2011

Three Worlds (after M C Escher)

Escher IRL
Three worlds — after M C Escher
Here a picture that grows in its riches by the external things I know about it.

A surface interpretation, just looking at the picture and talking about what can be seen will talk about it being a picture of a pond, cherry petals fallen on it, koi visible in it, and the reflection of its environment visible.

One might even go as far as contemplate how the picture pulls together three different worlds — subsurface, surface, and surroundings — into a single whole.

The magic in this picture, the way it speaks to me, however, is all about context and about references. M C Escher, among his many lithographs and various inspired prints, includes in his opus the print Three Worlds:
Three Worlds — by M C Escher
This image fresh in my mind, I ran across the pond on the campus of Millersville University one day, and saw an almost perfect Real World replica of the lithograph, and thus raised my camera and shot the above result.

Thus, to me, the picture in question mainly evokes M C Escher, and little by little, pretty much his entire corpus of work by way of associations. It starts with Three Worlds, and then the chain of my associations just keeps on rolling onwards from there.

Naturally, this is far from the only way to read the image, and reading it without knowing about the Escher work both evokes the same feelings of unity and alienation in fusion that the lithograph evokes, and brings to mind more thoughts drawn from the particular composition in the image itself.

If anything, I'm curious as to whether the image grows from being rendered in black and white — this image puts some emphasis on the dull green of the water, and the shrill brightness of the cherry petals; emphasis that might fade a little bit with a black and white treatment.


  1. Dear michiexile,

    the foto is really amazing.. would you allow me to use your photo in a poster in my university (vienna?) And if so, do you have a bigger resolution which you could send to my address:
    I would be very grateful
    Best regards

  2. The photo is available under CC-BY-NC from my flickr account:

    You should be able to get the full size there.

    If you feel like it, I would love to see the finished poster you used the photo in. My username should get mails to me.