Tonight’s the night: Mike Mitchell’s solo show at the Mondo Gallery is throwing open its doors as we speak, and Limited Paper’s got you covered with a slew of images from inside the Gallery itself. Wanna see how Mitchell’s 30-some-odd posters have been arranged? Wanna see which prints we didn’t show you in our preview earlier in the week? Wanna read our thoughts on Mitchell’s work in comparison to last month’s Stout & Taylor showcase? Meet us on the other side of the jump, folks, where we’re revealing the first of two sets of badass photos from tonight’s show.
For many collectors, last month’s Stout & Taylor show at the Mondo Gallery was straight-up sensory-overload: “Oh, you like Tyler Stout and Ken Taylor? Well, here’s a whole damn room filled with new stuff produced by those very guys! What’s that? You wanna have a beer on Mondo’s back porch while praising the Poster Gods for finally allowing you to make it through the line? Do it. But are you really sure you shouldn’t buy one of those metal variants?” That stunningly long line, the weeks of hype, the ongoing battles with Austin-area hobos who seem to have a habit of voiding their bowels before removing their pants: people came to Stout & Taylor as tottering babes, but they left as grown-ass, tobacco-chewing, tree-fellin’ lumberjack mountain men (and women).
The hype-building, by the way, is an interesting thing. Consider Mike Mitchell’s solo show, which just opened at the Mondo Gallery tonight here in Austin. This show didn’t have anywhere near the same level of hype surrounding it that Stout & Taylor did, but Mitchell’s work is often just as sought after, beloved, and pricey-to-obtain as anything being created by last month’s Gallery residents. Thing is, I don’t think the Interlopers or the n00bs or the hobos even know about Mike Mitchell’s stuff.
That’s not a slight, mind you. What I’m trying to say is this: almost everyone knows a Tyler Stout print when they see one, and many of those people know that Stout posters tend to sell well on the secondary market. But to really “get” Mike Mitchell’s stuff—and to get excited about it, or (as at least one fan did for tonight’s show) to fly across the country for a Mitchell solo show– you generally need to have been around Poster World’s block a time or two. That’s when you’ll learn the difference between his portrait stuff and his Just Like Us series (which, by the way, was not a part of tonight’s showcase). That’s when you learn about the incredibly low print runs on some of his stuff, and the feverish lengths some fans will go to in order to track down a “needed” print. One minute none of it makes sense and it’s hard to place Mitchell against the sea of artists currently plying their trade via screenprints and giclees…and the next minute you’re holding one of his Just Like Us prints and thinking, “OK, now I get it”.
I’d imagine that moment happened for the few people who showed up to tonight’s showcase that weren’t already Mitchell megafans. As you can see in the photos above and below—all of which were expertly shot on our behalf by our friend and Mondo Blog photographer Billy Garrett—the Mondo crew managed to get some really inspired stuff out of Mitchell for his first Mondo Gallery solo show.
A day or two ago we ran a preview showing off about half of the posters Mondo and Mitchell were dropping this evening, and after looking those over some people might have been tempted to think, “Well, it looks like we may’ve seen the best of the show already, ‘cuz the portraits for Young Frankenstein, Drive, and Django Unchained aren’t getting topped”. Such people are foolish to underestimate the Mitchell. Just look at some of these other prints (none of which we featured in our preview earlier in the week:
Or check out this section of the show, which combined posters from the showcase to surreal, often hilarious effect (there’s one more photo of these up top, in case you missed it):
Unlike Mitchell’s Just Like Us series, his portrait work is ultra-realistic, looking sort’ve like what you’d get if you bred Drew Struzan with Jason Edmiston (note: do not attempt). They are deceptively simple pieces of artwork, which is another reason that newcomers don’t gravitate towards these kind of pieces in the same way that they’d flock to, say, an Olly Moss Dark Knight Rises poster. But pay attention to some of the moments being captured, to the titles of the prints themselves: there’s a lot of wit at play here, and the cumulative impact that comes with seeing an entire gallery filled with it is pretty damn cool.
Pretty badass, no? See if you can spot the prints we didn’t feature in our preview while we’re waiting on the final list to arrive. Over the weekend we’ll have an entire cache of hi-res images to share, one for each and every print in the place (note: there are ~30 of ‘em, so prepare to click-through), along with edition sizes, prices, and what-have-you. Once again we’d like to think ace photographer Billy Garrett for snagging these pics for us this evening (he’s doing the hi-res images for us, as well), as well as the folks at Fons PR, the Mondo Gallery team, and—last but certainly not least—artist Mike Mitchell. If you’re going to be in Austin over the next few weeks, be sure to stop by the Gallery’s location on Guadalupe, just north of downtown Austin.
With that outta the way, you know what happens next: 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!
Click on this image for a high-res blast!