M. C. Escher’s Nursery Wallpaper
Thomas Brodhead – American, born 1968 – M. C. Escher’s Nursery Wallpaper –2013 – acrylic on canvas – 30" x 48" x 0.75" (76.2cm x 121.92cm x 1.91cm)
Long before visiting the Alhambra (a 14th-century Moorish castle near Granada, Spain, whose patterned tiles inspired the graphic designer to explore regular plane division and tessellation), little Maurits Cornelius Escher was locked in a horrifying playroom whose walls were papered with images of stampeding animals with a single octopus cop as the only suggestion of peace and order within a chaotic universe. In lieu of expensive psychotherapy later in life, Escher spent his time obsessing over the ways that unique renderings of animals could be interlocked cleanly and precisely in two-dimensional lithographs, thereby assuring his future fame among pot-smoking college students. A somewhat vexing depiction of animal entropy, this rendering of Escher’s nursery wallpaper (painstakingly recreated and based on verbal descriptions by multiple eyewitnesses) would be a lively addition to a laundry room or vomitorium.