Walking up stairs and down stairs at the same time is perfectly understandable to Jeffrey Price. He has often seen birds turn into fish, and on his walls reptiles have been known to vanish into infinity. For over twenty-five years Jeffrey has collected and researched the unique art of the Dutch printmaker M. C. Escher, who died in 1972 and created images that are often seen on posters and tee shirts as well as in art museums. One of the few collections of original Escher prints is in Norwalk Connecticut at Artists' Market, the gallery Jeffrey has owned for over thirty-five years.
"There simply is no another artist in Escher's league" says Jeffrey. "He is so very popular, and yet people rarely have a chance to see his original work. It is almost as strange as one of Escher's pictures that his life's work ended up in Connecticut. Our exhibits of Escher helped establish our gallery, and he has certainly shaped our lives." Years ago Jeff took his children, Eva and Aaron to Holland to visit "all the Escher sites." "One of my favorites was seeing the old witch's scales in the small town of Oudwater," remembers Jeffrey. "Escher was intrigued by this folklore, and made some wonderful woodcuts of the adventures of a particularly adventuresome woman who some thought was a witch. We each weighed ourselves to determine whether we were of the correct weight to be mortals or witches. None of us appeared to be witches, though I have some doubts about the accuracy of that test!"
Escher's work is a peculiar combination of inspiration and analysis, continued Jeffrey. "He really solves left-brained problems - the mathematical ones - with the creativity of the right side of the brain" Perhaps that is why it appeals to so many people. Engineers, philosophers, scientists and poets all find something personal in his work. And for art collectors, he points out, Escher created some of the finest crafted and rarest of all twentieth century prints.