we celebrate 125 years of Escher
This year marks the 125th anniversary of the birth of Maurits Cornelis Escher, one of Leeuwarden's most famous residents. Escher, the iconic graphic artist, spent his early years in the city palace that now houses the Keramiekmuseum Princessehof (ceramics museum). To mark this anniversary, several activities have been organised in the city, including a route along seven 3D artworks by Leon Keer, Massina, Remco van Schaik and Ruben Poncias. These artworks will be on display from 17 June to 31 October.
Follow the route past these extraordinary works. You can choose to start or end at Keramiekmuseum Princessehof, or just explore the route at random. In fact, the Princessehof presents a wonderful exhibition dedicated to M.C. Escher.
Zwevend - Remko van Schaik
This 3D graphic drawing is a clear reference to Escher's work. However, artist Remko van Schaik gave it his own anamorphic twist: from the right viewing point, it is as if the painted object is floating. Tip: stand, sit or lie on the top beam of the drawing and let someone else take a picture - it feels like you are floating along with the object.
De Schildpad - Remko van Schaik
A 3D turtle now crawls at the foot of the Wilhelmina tree, planted in 1898. This painting by Remko van Schaik is a nod to Escher's geometric turtle figures. If you look closely, you can see figures reflected on the green shield. Tip: be sure to take a picture here - then suddenly the depth will seem even greater!
Shifted Earth - Leon Keer
Leon Keer, one of the world's leading artists in anamorphic art, often brings a deeper layer to his work. For instance, the shifted discs of 'Shifted Earth' symbolise current climate changes and the geometric elements not only reflect Escher's often impossible perspective, but can also be seen as a metaphor for confusion in the pursuit of a better planet.
Escher Abstract - Massina
Escher meets Massina, in this beautiful graphic painting. Massina (Marije Spelbos) added her own spices to an Escherian recipe. The result? This delicious three-dimensional street-art, which you can view and photograph from all sides. For this, Massina was inspired by the long walkway and the curves of the mist fountain. Tip: experience the optimal effect of the work by filming it!
Ongrijpbare oneindigheid - Remko van Schaik
Is it square, rectangular or completely flat? This impressive artwork by Remko van Schaik is a big wink at Escher's impossible cube. The form-enclosed praying mantis seems to want to reach for infinity but will never get it. Tip: climb 'on top' of the painting and give the grasshopper a hand (= fun for the photo)!
Uit & in Zicht - Ruben Poncia
Tucked away in the back garden of pop podium Neushoorn, you will find this artwork by Ruben Poncia. He depicts the contrast between the outside and inside world in this. As in some of Escher's works, there is tension between geometric and organic. By the way, this painting is not the only street art you can find in Haniasteeg. Tip: follow A Guide to Leeuwarden's Street Art Tour to discover the most beautiful street art!
Eschers selfie - Ruben Poncia
This work of art cannot be missed. A portrait of M.C. Escher is hanging pontifically in front of the visitor centre. Ruben Poncia based his work on Escher's self-portraits. But this portrait is very special: from the right angle, he seems to want to crawl out of the frame. The transition from 2D to 3D was also often used by Escher himself, for instance in the world-famous work Drawing Hands.
As part of the 125th anniversary of the birth of Maurits Cornelis Escher, the famous Dutch artist, several artists have been inspired by his work. M.C. Escher is known for his unique graphic works and creation of visual illusions. Leon Keer, Massina, Ruben Poncia and Remco van Schaik are the artists celebrating this special anniversary through their own artistic expression. Keer, known for his 3D street art, has created impressive works with others in different parts of the world. Massina unleashes her creativity with inspiration from various cultures and architectural landscapes, while Van Schaik specialises in 3D street paintings and anamorphic paintings. These artists contribute to keeping Escher's legacy alive, showing how his influence still lives on in the contemporary art world.
For Leeuwarden, Leon Keer is an old acquaintance. In 2018, Keer made four Escherian street drawings as part of the Planet Escher project accompanying the major exhibition Escher on tour at the Fries Museum. Two years later, he returned to Leeuwarden to enrich the Keramiekmuseum Princessehof, Escher's birthplace, with a beautiful mural. For this, his inspiration came from the well-known work Hol and Bol. The mural can now be seen in the exhibition At Home with M.C. Escher.
However, Leon Keer’s world is much larger than Leeuwarden alone. As a leading artist in anamorphic art, he is commissioned all over the world: he has left his mark on every continent. His work often touches on social issues such as climate and quality of life. His work is thus not only aesthetically beautiful and attractive but challenges the viewer to think.
Massina (Marije Spelbos) has worked as a graphic designer at an advertising and design agency in the Netherlands for the past 20 years. Currently, her portfolio is mainly filled with 3D street art she has created with Leon Keer around the world. For her own work, she draws inspiration from various cultures (with a love for Japanese culture), architectural landscapes, typography and street art with graphic appeal. Besides public art, Massina works from her studio in Utrecht on abstract art in which the contrast used creates a certain field of tension, but also radiates tranquillity through the right composition.
Remko van Schaik
After successfully completing 'De School voor Decoratie', followed by a job in Stand-Design, Remko van Schaik started making murals, illustrations, and 3D objects. At first, these were still targeted commissions, but when the artist witnessed a group of street painters in Utrecht in 2007, he immediately became enthusiastic about this art form. In 2008, he made his first drawing, after which street painting became an important part of his work and life. He specialised in 3D street paintings and anamorphic paintings and finds this the most beautiful: "3D street painting is a great challenge for your creativity and skills. Besides, it is also a very social event with the public."
This experienced artist has been active since 1996. In the first years of his creative career, he worked mainly for cinemas and theatres, painting large billboards for new films and theatre productions. This was followed by murals, lettering and signs for shops, illustrations, and cartoons for magazines. Poncia makes acrylic and oil paintings in a realistic or surrealist style. In doing so, he likes to use perspective tricks. When he encountered street painting, he was able to use this nicely for anamorphic (3D) street art. You can clearly see this in his work for this 3D art route.