High steel Escher

A brief celebration of one of my favorite cartoons, on the occasion of a reproduction of it being installed in the Empire State Building. Rob Leighton’s Escher on high steel:

I’m trying to imagine the blueprints. Also, of course, how the workers got up there in the first place.

From Michael Maslin’s Ink Spill column on 10/23/19, “New Yorker Cartoons On The Empire State Building Walls”:

The iconic Empire State Building now boasts half-a-dozen New Yorker cartoons on its walls.  One each by Robert Leighton, Liana Finck, John O’Brien, Tom Cheney, Jason Patterson,  and Frank Modell. [They’re in the stairways between floors 80 and 86.]

… Mr. Leighton’s drawing, published in The New Yorker February 4, 2013, carried the caption “Escher! Get your ass up here!”  The caption, edited by Mr. Leighton, appearing in the Empire State Building: “Escher! Get back up here!”

(The new caption is no doubt more suitable for a general audience of visitors to the skyscraper, but the original caption strikes me as absolutely perfect for the setting; the speaker is, after all, a construction worker.)

Escherian background on this blog:

on 7/22/16 in “queer”, with a section on Penrose triangles, which figure prominently in Escher’s work

on 5/6/18 in “Said the rapper to the geek”, with a section on Escher

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