The Blinging of MC Esher
Of the hundreds of millions of designs of iPads and other popular mobile devices at this year's CES, the one that seemed most out of place was "Sky and Water I," drawn by Dutch artist M.C. Esher in 1938.
There it was, on the same table at the Lux Mobile booth as designs featuring Marilyn Monroe and a host of other movie stars and modern popular icons.
Then there was the Esher-designed iPad covered with 18,000 Swarovski crystals that had been dipped in 24 karat gold -- a limited edition case that sold for a cool $3,000.
As you can see, it's beautiful. I've got no problem with that. It's just that pairing Esher with the likes of Humphrey Bogart, Elvis and Hello Kitty seems, well, discongruous.
How do you sell Esher to a hip, young crowd?
One way is to hide the fact that he was born in 1898. The makers of this case displays a picture of a young, plaid-wearing hipster holding an Esher-designed iPhone. Compare that with a real photo of Esher. The kiddies are never going to buy that.
Another way is to eliminate those pesky periods in his name. Now instead of M.C. Esher, dead Dutch artist, he becomes MC Esher, perhaps a white rapper who also dabbles in art and will be dropping his new self-designed album next Tuesday.
Add to that the fact that to promote their line of mobile device cases, Lux Mobile used a scantily-clad go-go dancer to attract potential customers to their booth.
That sound you hear is M.C. Esher rolling over in his grave.