Aesthetic Esotericism

"Cartoon Polymaths" is an exhibition, being hosted at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center.
“Cartoon Polymaths” is an exhibition, being hosted at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center.

I seldom take photographs of objects or landscapes that I can’t put a caption beneath. It’s an old habit, cultivated from years of training in the newsroom.

The conventions of journalism don’t allow room for such a carefree approach. But the vast, rule-less expanse of the blogosphere does afford one that luxury. I indulged in it the other day.

When I walked into the glassy lobby of the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center on Fifth Avenue, on my way to return a book to the library, I found myself staring at a stucco-like wall, with the phrase “Cartoon Polymaths” stuck on it.

I didn’t know what it signified, at the time, though its aesthetic verbiage exerted a pull on me. Later, I discovered, it was the title of a then-ongoing exhibition of multimedia work, being hosted at Parsons, the design school of The New School.

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