An Accidental Mysteries Blast from the Past, from November 30, 2008.
MELVIN WAY, an African American man born in 1954 now living in NYC, began making drawings like these in the 1980s. Where these cryptic images come from is something of a mystery. Way did take music classes in high school, but soon after was diagnosed as schizophrenic. I have always loved his work. Each piece is small, obsessively drawn in ball point pen and covered in clear tape as if to hermetically seal the information inside. His work appears to be part musical score, part chemical equations, geometric shapes and a compilation of nonsensical doodles which create a wonderfully mysterious equational art form. His work is rare. To me, owning a piece is like holding a contemporary artifact—something I know is a manifestation of that thin boundary between madness and genius. I like to believe I am just not privy to the code.