First published: Spring 2001
Formulas are shorthand for complex mathematical or scientific interactions. We expect them to balance or add up; we think of them as intentional, clear and terse, yet dense with meaning. And then we see the inky drawings of Melvin ‘Milky’ Way.
Melvin Way makes cryptograms in which he embeds formulas and diagrams intricately woven from letters, words, phrases, numbers, and designs. There are many paths into Way’s drawings and none out.
They do not simplify but add mystery to his already dense messages. They are untitled – as if to name them would limit their encyclopedic grasp. They are chemistry and psychology, life and art, but above all poetry.