Escher’s work is often classified in two groups: work done before 1937 and work done after 1937. Relativity was created in 1953. In the years leading up to 1937, Escher came into contact with Moorish mosaics and crystallography which made him conscious of many possibilities in pictorial constructions. After 1937, 1944 especially, Escher worked with creating different spatial realities. Escher’s paintings suggest that simply by having a deliberate visual system, forcing yourself to look at the painting differently, the situation presented will be logically possible – which is shown in Relativity (Escher, 5-10).
In this piece, Escher shows an unrealistic world. By drawing stairs that never go the same way and floors that are up, down, right, and left he demonstrates this strange reality. So who controls the world, and reality, in this painting? It seems that the human-like figures do. By going about their everyday business they show no desire to change it. Perhaps Escher is trying to say something about human nature. It seems as though as long as these beings can eat, walk, read, and go about their normal lives they are content to go along with the distorted world they live in, however ridiculous it is. This painting also shows what humans consider to be their everyday reality. People are indoors, cleaning, in love, eating, watching everyone else – this is what life has come to. People mindlessly are going about their lives, not paying any attention to the fact that their lives make no concrete sense. In Escher’s mind WE control reality. If we care enough to wake up and see what's going on, we will have the power to change it.