January Issue of the Journal ‘Polity’—Co-edited by Profs. Alyson Cole, Robyn Marasco, and Charles Tien—Displays Powerful Cover Art By The President of The Graduate Center
COVID Sisyphys by Robin Garrell
When Graduate Center Professors Alyson Cole, Robyn Marasco, and Charles Tien, the new team of editors of the political science journal Polity, chose a work of art for the cover of their first edition, they picked a drawing that powerfully portrayed our times — by an artist with a familiar, but unexpected name.
Introducing their first issue, the editors wrote, “In selecting a cover, we found deeply resonant the pastel drawing of a very small human pushing an immense coronavirus cell uphill. As we began the effort to secure permissions to use this powerful image, we were delighted to discover that the artist was none other than Robin Garrell.”
They added, “Garrell’s poignant image resonates broadly because the pandemic has disrupted everyone’s lives, exposed enduring inequalities, and impacted scholarly production.”
The work is titled COVID Sisyphys. Garrell, who is a chemist, entered it into the “Science as Art” competition sponsored by the UCLA Science Libraries in 2020. COVID Sisyphys was chosen among the top 10 works in the competition.
“I created this pastel drawing in March 2020, a few weeks into the pandemic,” Garrell said. “This is the first time I’ve addressed a sociopolitical theme. As with much of my work, it explores how individuals experience isolation and confront challenges that feel insurmountable.”