Art, Design

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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