Exactly one year ago, the scene in downtown Austin looked much the same as it did yesterday: overcast and just a little chilly, a downtown area over run with tens of thousands of film and music geeks (sporting all the neckbeards and fixed-gear bikes typical to such a group), and—just a few blocks away from downtown Austin proper, in the center of an otherwise-unexceptional strip of stores at 41st and Guadalupe—a crowd was gathering outside the Mondo Gallery.
Twelve blink-and-you’ll-miss-them months ago, the massive crowd had gathered to celebrate the opening of Mondo’s first-ever gallery space, turning the sci-fi themed show that followed into a jaw-droppingly huge success. Last night at the opening of Mondo and HBO’s Game of Thrones-themed showcase, the crowd was a little smaller, the crowd a little more subdued, and the purchases a little smaller…but the mood was celebratory, anticipation electrified every conversation, and the art on the walls was just as impressive as it’s always been. Find out more after the jump, folks.
It’s true that the opening of Mondo’s Game of Thrones showcase didn’t yield the same sort of blockbuster crowd which amassed outside the gallery for its first showcase, the one that opened a year ago this weekend. I mean, don’t get me wrong: the crowd at the press preview I attended was just as celebratory and drunk-on-awesome-artwork as the crowd always is at a Mondo Gallery opening…hell, if it was your first time attending a show at Mondo’s central-Austin gallery space (seen before the crowd hit below), you almost certainly wouldn’t have noticed anything amiss: “Yep, the walls are covered with badass artwork. And, yup, there’s the throng of poster nerds, clamoring for their first peek at the goods– just like they said there’d be!”
But for the regulars, veterans and hardcore collectors in the crowd, the fact that this event was a bit more low-key than usual was both obvious…and totally understandable. After all, the Mondo crew (pictured below on their newly-christened rear patio in what has to be the all-time best group photo these guys have ever taken) is just a week away from throwing open the doors on its recently-announced Stout & Taylor show (opening March 15th), an entire showcase comprised of new artwork from fan-favorites Tyler Stout and (Limited Paper’s 2012 MVP) Ken Taylor. It’s expected that this show will end up being Mondo’s most-hyped, most-anticipated, and most- attended show ever. When combined with the pervasive impression that collectors everywhere are tightening their budgets, it only made sense that a show opening a week before Stout & Taylor would reap what was (by Mondo standards) a slightly more measured response.
But even if collectors were saving the bulk of their poster-budgets for the brouhaha slated to erupt on the 15th, quite a few people still showed up to check out brand-new artwork from Limited Paper favorites like Jock, Jason Edmiston, Craig Drake, Rich Kelly, and Daniel Danger. The press preview in particular was definitely more crowded than usual (I’m guessing the large number of unfamiliar faces in the crowd were guests of HBO, all of whom seemed very impressed), so much so in fact that I couldn’t really get my normal “walking tour” video of the space itself. That’s something I’ve done since the very first Mondo Gallery show, and I’m just as bummed as some of you will be that we couldn’t make that work…but, hey, there’s an upside: we’ve got a ton of pictures from the event, and they’re both sharper and feature less annoying background noise than our video walking tours ever will! Huzzah!
Here’s some of our favorites from the show, the vast majority of which were OGs rather than prints (and several of the prints that were available weren’t screenprints at all, just for the record: they were gloriously-rendered giclees by Jason “Best Canadian Ever” Edmiston and Mike “No JLU’s At This Show, Sorry” Mitchell). But let’s move on:
- White Walker by Chet Zar
- Oil on Canvas Board OG
- Mother of Dragons by Jason Edmiston
- Acrylic on Wood Panel OG
- Also available as a $75 giclee
- Jaqen H’ghar by Joao Ruas
- Graphite, Watercolor, and Acrylic on Paper/Acetate OG
- Porcelain, Ivy, and Steel by Mia Araujo
- Acrylic on Wood OG
- Little Lion by NC Winters
- Acrylic on Paper/Wood Panel OG
- Ambush by Rich Kelly
- Acrylic on Strathmore Board OG
- Game of Thrones by Sanjulian
- Oil on Canvas OG
- Barathian Black Knight by Thomas Hooper
- Ink on Paper
- Prophecy by Tom Broadshaw
- One-off digital painting mounted on board
- Jon Snow by Jock
- Ink on Paper OG
- Jon Snow by Jock
- $45 Screenprint
- Edition of 365
- Daenerys Targaryen by Craig Drake
- Gauche on Paper OG
- Tyrion by Mike Mitchell
- $60 Giclee Edition of 100
- In The House of The Undying by Daniel Danger
- Higgins ink on clayboard
- The Prize by Killian Eng
- $45 screenprint
- Regular edition of 365
As we speak, Mondo’s got the available OGs from this show available for purchase at their website, but you should absolutely swing over there even if you’re not looking to drop any cash this afternoon: there’s a few more OGs over there that you should really check out. We’re also banking on a blog update from the Mondo crew any time now with their thoughts about the show, and who knows? Maybe they’ll preview something from Stout & Taylor while they’re at it (we’re not holding our breath).
Oh, and by the way: Ommegang’s much ballyhooed Game of Thrones-branded beer was making its big Austin debut at Mondo’s latest show, and it appeared to be very popular; everywhere you turned people were putting down glasses of the stuff. To be perfectly honest, I’m much more a liquor guy than a beer guy—which means I didn’t snag a glass. But I know some of you are curious as to how the beer tastes, so I did corner the esteemed beer expert, locally-famous Ryan Gosling enthusiast, and former UK resident known as Jon “Peaches” Partridge, PhD for his opinion on the brew. He summed it up thusly (note: please read out loud in your best Mrs. Doubtfire voice):
[This Game of Thrones brew] is a new release from Ommegang, the American craft brewery famed for their interpretations on the Belgian ale style. As a fan (and someone who lists their three philosophers as a personal favourite) I was excited to try it.
The beer is essentially a Belgian-style blonde. Nicely balanced with grains of paradise and lemon peel. These citrusy notes– coupled with a sessionable 6.5%– makes for a refreshing and sessionable beer from a quality brewer.
As a note, I sampled the beet from a keg and would be intrigued to see how bottle conditioning affects the profile of this beer. Overall? A nice, solid addition to the Ommegang lineup that’s not just a marketing gimmick: this is a solid, quality beer. Need more?
More?! When you’ve already given so much? I think not, Peaches. You’ve wrapped this up nicely. And everyone else, here’s hoping you enjoyed our latest trip to the frontlines of Poster World. We’re going to be back with much, much more next weekend: we’ll have both video and photos for you from Mondo’s Stout & Taylor show, along with a report from the event and an exclusive interview with both Ken Taylor and Tyler Stout. And who knows? Maybe we’ll give something away at the same time if we cross that 1,000 Twitter follower mark between now and then (we’re, like, a dozen people away, folks: it’s probably gonna happen by the time this posts). Stay tuned to find out!
And as always, if you’re an artist or gallery with artwork you’d like to see featured on Limited Paper (or if you’re just some lucky bastard who happened to overhear a bit of poster-related gossip while standing in the bushes outside Martin Ansin’s house) we wanna hear from you! Email Limited Paper directly at LimitedPaper@gmail.com, and be sure that you’re following us on Twitter via @LimitedPaper for ongoing commentary, news updates, giveaways, and more!