MONDO Gallery’s 5 Year Anniversary


March 10th when they opened the doors to their new gallery located at 4115 Guadalupe St. Austin, TX. Mondo Tee’s shook up the local scene, but more importantly, they shook up the hobby.

Mondo made a name for themselves by selling limited edition screen printed posters for our favorite movies. But from a business model point of view, where do you go from their when you clearly dominate the market? Expansion is always an option, but how? Without even knowing it, our dreams were answered when Mondo opened their first gallery show fives years ago! But the genius of the gallery turned out to be more than just art, it was a great place to meet up with fellow poster nerds and discuss the art world. Best of all, the artists typically attended as well. It was like the perfect storm that only got better with conception. Although the first show was brilliant, following shows proved to be just as inspired as themes and “team-ups” began to pop up. Disney, Marvel, Nickelodeon, and now of course Star Wars, with team-ups like Taylor/Stout, Taylor/Edmiston, and Ansin/Tong have driven poster nerds crazy with wanting new grails. Obviously the first five years have been fantastic, but we can’t wait to see what the next five years holds.

From a team perspective, Nerdlocker has enjoyed the pleasure of seeing every show before the official opening. (Thank you Brandy & Ryan Fons and the Fons team) We have covered them so Nerds around the world can enjoy what the Austin locals experience, including the lines, the camaraderie, and of course the art. Over the years, our team has included a great number of photographers and writers, including Bryan Rose, Bryan Henderson, Chris Torres, Andrea Schultz, Chris Jalufka, and more. We look forward to many more shows.

I briefly chatted with a few folks from the Mondo team, I asked Justin Brookhart, Managing Director at Mondo, what the last 5 years has been like since the first opening night?

The opening of the gallery 5 years ago was a big evolution for us. We had just moved out of the old shop and storage closet at the Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar. With this new space we knew we were taking a step towards working with a more diverse roster of artists. In the 5 years since we have had the great honor of showcasing an astounding group of the world’s best designers, painters, and illustrators. We are very excited to honor this anniversary with two new exhibits. The first featuring the work of one of our favorites dudes, Mike Mitchell, taking on iconic Star Wars characters in portrait form. And the second featuring $200 original art from a slew of talented artists.

I remember when both Justin and Eric came on board to Mondo. I was just getting into the hobby, not full force just yet. but the tide soon changed and I was hooked.

I asked Eric Garza creative director at Mondo, in the last 5 years what had been his favorite show to date. His answer of course was well thought out and enthusiastic.

Five years. Hard to imagine it’s been so long since we moved out of the old storage space in Alamo South Lamar. We’ve had exhibits of every shape and size, but at the end of the day, my favorite would have to be the inaugural “sci-fi” exhibit. The diversity of properties and artists was just bonkers. It felt like we’d made a statement of what we wanted the gallery space to be with a proper mixture of limited edition screen prints as well as original one-of-a-kind pieces of art from the best poster and fine artists around the world. Mike’s Marvel portrait show was another one that’s close to my heart. As a big fan of the Marvel universe, it was great to see Mike’s approach to the iconic material. Plus, the whole Mondo crew dressed up for opening night, so that was rad. To all the wonderful artists who have exhibited in the gallery, we couldn’t do this with you. To all the folks that have joined us for an opening or visited the space, you’re the best.

Jay Shaw who is the Brand Director told me this when asked about his favorite show and what its been like joining the team during its surge of popularity.

My favorite show so far has been Sonny Day’s MIND INTERN. Sonny is such a brilliant and warm creative force. I think his show exemplifies everything an intimate gallery space can offer to both fans and artists. I would love to see more like that from us in the future.
It’s been an rollercoaster ride working for Mondo so far. I’m blown away by this team every day. We all work very long hours on what seems like an endless stream of projects but I couldn’t be more excited to work here. As we grow our focus on a much larger world of geekdom broadens but the soul of Mondo remains the same. At its core Mondo is still a tiny boutique of creatives making awesome stuff for awesome fans of awesome movies.

Co-founder /Creative Director Mitch Putnam had this to say about his favorite show(s).

I can’t believe it’s been five years already! We’ve had so many great shows that I’m proud of, but my favorite two were probably Sonny Day’s ‘Mind Intern’ and Jason Edmiston’s ‘Eyes Without a Face’. I think both of those sort of shook up what we’re expected to do in the gallery, and when we’re experimenting, we’re at our best.

And no article about Mondo gallery would be complete without the distinguished gentleman himself, Rob Jones. I asked Rob, What has been the ultimate highlight for him since the doors opened 5 years ago?

If you walk into my bedroom and don’t trip over all the shoes,  a portrait of  Elsa Lanchester as the Bride looming over my bed immediately greets you.  Jason Edmiston’s acrylic wizardry rendered it for the Universal Monsters show we had a while back. I adore it. When I wind up a tattered itinerant, I can imagine Jason’s masterpiece becoming my last possession bound up under my arm in newspaper and burlap while I ride the rails.

It had stiff competition that night.  If the gauge for ranking shows comes down to which unveiled the most pieces you hungered for, then the Uni Monsters show stands flattened head and shoulders above the rest.  Really wanted Bruce White’s Karloff on velvet and Craig Drake’s svelte take on Elsa from that show too, but alas they flew into the happy hands of others.

Rob's pride and joy
Rob’s pride and joy

So here is the last 5 years in gallery photos. I have missed a few photos of events I’m sure, but I am looking through our archives to upload more. A lot of the people who got into this hobby back then may see a few familiar faces, maybe even your own. Enjoy.

Mondo is an art gallery and online store devoted to a passionate love of film, art, music and toys. The company has received global recognition for bringing art back to movie poster design and has emerged as one of the leading curators of classic and contemporary film soundtracks on vinyl. Utilizing the talents of world class artists and designers, Mondo produces limited edition, screen printed posters based on film, television and comic properties, working with the leading entertainment brands including DC Comics, HBO, Marvel, Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios, Walt Disney Studios and Warner Brothers as well as filmmakers like Paul Thomas Anderson, Guillermo Del Toro, Zack Snyder, Quentin Tarantino and Edgar Wright. Based in Austin, TX, Mondo operates out of a permanent gallery space, hosting regular exhibitions featuring a blend of breathtaking original artwork and limited edition screen prints. Mondo aspires to be a creative home for artists and designers to work and have their visions realized, whether through posters, gallery shows, vinyl, apparel or toys. Their first convention in 2014, MondoCon, was a celebration of art, music, film and their creators. Mondo is also recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences with a full archive of film posters as part of their research library. The parent company of Mondo is Alamo Drafthouse.

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I grew up on Kung Fu theater movie weekends, a lot of Top Ramen Noodles, G.I. Joe's, Evil Knivels Stunt Cycle and Stretch Armstrong. My Movie reviews and Artist Interviews have been a regular around Follow me on Twitter @arainbolt. or email me