Mondo Gallery opens to science-fiction themed, but completely real, success
Mondo Tees continues its quest to dominate the movie-art world by opening The Mondo Gallery, a small property on Guadalupe St, squeezed in between Hyde Park Gym and Vino Vino, directly across from the Texas State Hospital, that will be home to the best of what Alamo Drafthouse's poster arm has to offer.
The gallery opened last Saturday amid SXSW fervor and gloomy, not-poster-friendly weather, but that didn't stop the Mondo faithful from queuing around the block for a chance to see the secretive selection Justin Ishmael and his team brought together for the unveiling. And worth the wait it was.
In faithfully movie geek fashion, the gallery opened with a science-fiction theme, featuring original work from 35+ well known artists; including Mondo alums Tyler Stout, Aaron Horkey, Alex Pardee, Olly Moss and Daniel Danger — needless to say, the spread was a symphony of who's who in modern cult art.
It could have been Silent TV'sAkira piece that so masterfully captured the style and feel of Katsuhiro Otomo's legendary manga, or maybe Tyler Stout's usual blitz of colors used in his Wrath of Khan, or perhaps Jason Edmiston's menacing and beautifully framed portrait of Flash Gordon villain Ming the Merciless, there was, without a doubt something for any fan of genre film to appreciate.
Each of the gallery's white walls was filled with sharp blasts of color, spanning an array of styles, all focused on the out of this world familiarity found in science-fiction, creating an atmosphere of pure, unadulterated geekdom that created a feeling of comfortable acceptance most nerds never knew growing up.
Walking through the gallery's tightly packed corridors, absorbing all of the work and all of the nostalgia leads to the realization that the films genre fans grew up with deserve a legitimate spot in history, and for that Mondo deserves every bit of respect that comes with running an art gallery.
And that is exactly why Mondo has been so successful; seizing on a marker filled with nerds who love original, limted-run art that has the power to bring them back to their 8-bit, VHS filled childhood in a way that invalidates all the berating of geek culture that was so popular in the past.
Walking through the gallery's tightly packed corridors leads to the realization that the films genre fans grew up with deserve a legitimate spot in history, and Mondo deserves recognition for that.
Justin Ishmael, Mondo's Creative Director, spent most of the opening mingling with fans, talking up different artists and showing a genuine appreciation of all the success he has been enjoying.
“The advance is totally packed,” Ishmael said as we stood under tents set up to shield the line from the nasty weather. “The show is going really, really, well considering the weather... If anything else, thank you to everyone who came out and I hope they're not disappointed with what they see.”
Judging by the amount of people leaving with stacks of posters — and even more so by those returning for more — it's clear that no patron felt anything close to disappointment. More likely, a sense of pride that one of our own is doing something that attracts worldwide attention in a field notorious for snobbery, and that it can not only be credibly geek, but at the same time, incredibly cool.
The Mondo Gallery is now officially open to the public from 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday.