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M. C. Escher in popular culture (6367 views - Art Styles - Art Movements)

There are numerous references to famous Dutch painter M.C. Escher, in popular culture.
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M. C. Escher in popular culture

M. C. Escher in popular culture

There are numerous references to famous Dutch painter M.C. Escher, in popular culture.

References to Relativity


The idea of Shahram Mokri's 2013 film Fish & Cat came from Escher's paintings.[1] The director gives a change in the perspective of time in one single shot.

In Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014), Sir Lancelot, Teddy Roosevelt, and Larry Daley enter the painting Relativity, and experience the same strange gravity featured in the painting.[2]

In Dario Argento's Suspiria (1977), Escher's art is painted on several walls, as well as the main location of the film being on the fictitious "Escherstrasse", an obvious nod to the artist.

The film Labyrinth (1986) features a room based on the painting Relativity.[3]


In the Drawn Together episode "Clara's Dirty Little Secret", Clara thinks she is pregnant, and Toot suggests that she fall down some stairs. Clara thinks of a suitable room and leads them to the "M. C. Escher room", where Toot pushes Clara down (and up, around, and back down) a flight of stairs.

In the Family Guy episode "Brian Goes Back to College", Stewie and Brian share a room where Stewie puts up a framed print of Relativity, which he calls "Crazy Stairs." He then breaks it while playing Ultimate Frisbee and asks "Oh no, did that hit crazy stairs?". In a later episode, "No Meals on Wheels", Peter complains that the fact that his new restaurant is attracting paraplegics "is weirder than that rap video by M.C. Escher." Escher is then depicted inside Relativity dressed like MC Hammer in "U Can't Touch This".[citation needed] and rapping, "Going up the stairs and going down the stairs and going up the stairs and going down the stairs and going up the sideways stairs."

On the SyFy show Warehouse 13, Escher is said by the character Leena to be one of the architects, along with Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla, who designed the Warehouse. The Escher Vault's design resembles the lithograph Relativity. Inside this vault, the stairwells and walls are constantly moving. Anyone not wearing specially designed glasses run the risk of being lost forever once inside. H.G. Wells is the only known individual to have successfully navigated the Escher Vault without glasses, instead using her Inperceptor Vest to retrieve personal items stored within.

In the Star vs. the Forces of Evil episode "Interdimensional Field Trip", Janna, the classmate of Star falls in a construction similar to Relativity.

The Rick and Morty episode "Morty's Mind Blowers" starts off with Rick and Morty running from a humanoid creature set in a place similar to Relativity.

The Futurama episode "I, Roommate" features Relativity as one of the living spaces Fry and Bender are considering living in.

M. C. Escher is alluded to in the Phineas and Ferb episode "Gaming the System" in which Candace Flynn is found in an environment similar to Relativity.

Video games

In the city building game Afterlife, Hell's ultimate punishment for Envy is called the Escher pit and is designed to torture souls by having them all be given different punishments, and after a few days are allowed to switch with a neighbor, thinking he / she is better off, only to find that all punishments are worse than the last. The outside slightly resembles Relativity.

In AdventureQuest Worlds, the first lord of chaos is Escherion, who has the ability to invert objects and lives in a castle with an inside similar to "Relativity".

In the Psygnosis game Lemmings, the 18th level of "Taxing" is named "Tribute to M.C. Escher", as the solution involves building a zigzag stairway slightly reminiscent of Relativity.

During the last decades several video games have been released, some of which are more or less inspired by the art of M.C. Escher. Some games borrow the graphical art style; some games contain game mechanics that are heavily influenced by the artist while others are simply put tributes to the works of M.C. Escher.[4]


The cover of Mike Oldfield's Boxed (1976) quotes the theme of two of Escher's works, i.e. "Gallery" and "Other World".[5][6]

In the video "Around the World" (1997) of Daft Punk, men and women, dressed like mummies similar to those in Escher’s painting, perpetually walk around on a stair.

"Escher", a song on Teenage Fanclub's album Thirteen, with lyrics that deal with disorientation.


Andrew Lipson created a Lego version of Relativity.[7]

In 1981, Austria issued a postage stamp featuring Escher's Impossible Dice Construction[8] and a 1998 Netherlands stamp illustrated a portrait of the artist alongside one of his works.[9][8]

In 2017, four combs and 244 steps from old wooden-stepped escalators at Wynyard railway station, Sydney, Australia, were "refashioned into a soaring crisscrossing tangle reminiscent of an Escher puzzle" named 'Interloop', designed by local artist Chris Fox and hanging from a ceiling above one of the new sets of escalators.[10][11][12]

References to other works

The Doctor Who episode "Castrovalva" takes its name from Escher's early lithograph of the same name, though Escher's view of Castrovalva has none of the paradoxical elements of his later works to which the setting of the episode could more readily be compared.[13]

Sheila Chandra included a piece called "Escher's Triangle" on her CD Roots and Wings - the title refers to Escher's use of the Penrose triangle in pictures like Waterfall.

A comic crossover between Mike Allred's Madman and Bernie Mireault's The Jam, features Escher as a central character when the two characters enter into an alternate universe created by a somewhat godlike Escher, based on many of his works.[14]

In 2006 Audi released a commercial with many Escher-inspired scenes.[15]

The bonus stages of the first Sonic the Hedgehog game, for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, feature an animated background of birds turning into fish, a reference to Sky and Water I.[16]

Monument Valley and its sequel features puzzles that are loosely based on Escher's works.[17][18]

See also

Video games inspired by M. C. Escher

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0. There is a list of all authors in Wikipedia

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