Juan Ezekiel Fontana (1930-2018) was a Mexican journalist who covered some of the twentieth century's most tragic events, notably the French-Algerian War and the Troubles in Northern Ireland. He produced, along the way, many hundreds of small drawings in sketchbooks of varied sizes. In 2017, the American memoirist and poet, Harvey Mudd, was invited to help Fontana curate his drawings for the purpose of creating an album for Fontana's daughter. This volume contains Mudd's journal describing his work with Fontana. Mudd came away convinced that the drawings were more than just evidence of Fontana's eccentricity. Phillipe (Fripon) de St. Cloud, the art historian who prepared this catalogue raisonné, had this to say about Fontana's work:
"From the formally abstract to the cartoon, occasionally grand, often orientally minimal, sometimes charming and witty" are all terms descriptive of the drawings of Juan Ezekiel Fontana. These terms do not, however, tell the whole story. His subject matter is often provocative, irreligious, and very dark; many of his images will be offensive. But since Fontana was nobody, it would be entirely reasonable for a reader to choose to spend his or her leisure time looking into other books or even other media. That said, I believe that Fontana's drawings can provide meaningful pleasures and more than passing amusement.”
Harvey Mudd, a native of Los Angeles, was educated at the New School in New York. He served in the US Army, was a farmer in New Mexico, was the director of an environmental organization in that state. He has traveled widely and lived in Spain and Mexico. He has always been political and now writes a political blog, www.harvey-mudd.com. He now lives in France.