Editor's Blog

Joseph Wakelee-Lynch

The Work of Ponzi

January 23, 2015
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Working as an editor can often seem a gray existence. Sometimes I go for weeks with my nose buried in text, the stuff that makes the pages turn gray. If the universe of the publishing profession could be expressed geographically, I’d say most editors’ lifetimes are lived out in Seattle. I like Seattle quite a lot, actually, and it’s one of my favorite places to visit. But, like Seattleites, editors respond when the sun breaks through into a dull afternoon. It’s a glorious moment.

For me, bright light cuts through the clouds when an illustration for an insightful piece of writing arrives weeks into the editorial process. It was a glorious day, then, when we received Emiliano Ponzi’s illustration for an essay by Allan Figueroa Deck, S.J., about the significance of the election of Pope Francis.

Ponzi’s work is a stunning, sublime statement that exquisitely expresses much of Deck’s commentary as well as the heart of the newest successor to Peter only months into his pontificate. Francis’ pastoral gifts have been evident from the moment he stepped out onto the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica after his selection. When Maureen Pacino ’93, LMU Magazine’s creative director, called me into her office, I knew in minutes that the story headline had to be “Assisi Road.”

I could compose choruses of praise to Ponzi’s art. But better is to point to his work. The new edition of Communication Arts magazine, a premier publication in the world of design, profiles him in its latest edition and includes several of his illustrations. The illustration the editors chose to introduce their nine-page, in-depth feature about this internationally known artist is the one that first appeared in LMU Magazine.

Take a look. The range of Ponzi’s imagery is inspiring. And the story — yeah, the good-old gray text — is an excellent piece of writing that gives an insightful look into the mind and intentions of a wonderful artist.