I have always been a fan of MC Escher and his work with stairs as evidenced in “Relativity” and “House of Stairs”. Recently, while googling some other topic, I came across images of MC Escher’s work and figured what better way to get back into “sexy stair saturday” than to look at stairs as “art”… in all mediums. So hold on boys and girls here comes the first sexy stair saturday in quite some time. I hop you enjoy.
The following text and imagery is from “A Stairing Contest” by Drew Martin and is a great little peice.
“Stairs are arguably one of the most loaded of all the architectural impositions on nature because there is a visual disruption, which is geometric and fragmented, but there is also a distortion in corporeal articulation: ascending and descending them causes the body to move in a very mechanical way. Perhaps we all harbor memories of the dangers of stairs from when we were toddlers but I think our reaction is much more complicated. It is interesting to look at how stairs are used in art.
For Maurits Cornelis Escher, they were a kind of visual madness: the ultimate labyrinth with no solution (pictured [below]).
"Relativity" by MC Escher
For filmmakers such as Sergei Eisentstein (Battleship Potemkin, pictured [below]) and Alfred Hitchcock (Vertigo, Psycho…), stairs are the stage for suspense and carnage. For the Aztecs this morbidity was much more real: the sacrificed bodies, with torn out hearts, were kicked down the steep steps of the pyramid temples for onlookers to fear.”
"Battleship Potemkin" by Eisentstein
“Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending A Staircase No. 2 (pictured [below])is one of the most influential paintings in the history of modern art.
"Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2" by Duchamp
Duchamp reinterpreted Eadweard Muybridge’s sequence of a naked woman walking down a flight of stairs from his 1887 Animal Locomotion.
Duchamp combined Futurist and Cubist ideas in a unique way and depicted movement through fragmentation. Most viewers weren’t impressed by its showing in the 1913 New York Armory Show. In fact, the piece was mocked, much to the Frenchman’s delight.
I like looking at this painting now in a different light. We cater our movements and behavior to our environment. It is a Darwinian idea that follows us all the way into our homes. Furnishings, architecture and the details of urban planning effect our posture, sense of space and movements.”
“To say the stair is metaphoric and symbolic is simply too superficial. Humans gravitate towards organic forms and seem to tolerate geometric intrusions, which are usually met, then ingrained, with tension and anxiety. Duchamp unconsciously gets at the earliest reaction to stairs without the emotional layering we see in much of film and the visual arts.”
Drew Martin Martin makes a great point in digging beyond the superficiality of stairs and begins to look at the emotions that stairs bring about with their guiding forms and suspicious tactility. Here are a few constructed stairs that have either been captured or displayed as “art”.
Infinity Staircase - 'Umschreibung' by Olafur Eliasson
City Hall, London (photo by sjnewton)
All rights reserved by manuela.martin
All rights reserved by JTContinental
"genetic stair" by Caliper Studio
I could go on and on for days… but to make things simple and share some of my sources, visit The Design Inspiration and check out their post on “50 Simply Creative and Beautiful Stairs Photos”.
I hope you enjoyed this episode of “sexy stair saturday”.