Last night, the Mondo Gallery in Austin, Texas threw open the doors on their final gallery show for 2012, and—as expected—it was about as fitting an end to the Mondo Gallery’s first year in operation as anyone could have imagined. Tina’s Mom’s Boyfriend—a show composed entirely of creations from the mighty Australian-based team known as We Buy Your Kids—was a celebration of the bizarre, a colorful explosion of “WTF?!” that (from where Limited Paper’s standing) courageously refused to offer up anything even remotely obvious, safe, or easily-digested.
Infinitely stranger than this summer’s Adventure Time showcase and twice as inexplicably disturbing as Jay Shaw’s Don’t Go Out Tonight, Tina’s Mom’s Boyfriend is certain to be remembered for being the Mondo Gallery’s most divisive show (in 2012, anyway). Wanna know what we thought, hear a few interesting tidbits about a few of the featured prints, and see a video walking tour of the entire show? Meet me after the jump, folks.
When Mondo announced that Tina’s Mom’s Boyfriend—a showcase built entirely around posters and paintings from the infamously strange Australian duo known as We Buy Your Kids—would be their final Gallery show in 2012, it made perfect sense: from the beginning, the Mondo crew has maintained that their Gallery would be used to showcase the more extreme and divisive artists in the Mondo family. Sure, they might toss the casual art-lovers a bone from time to time with something as universally-appreciated as their Universal Monsters show or the sci-fi themed blowout that opened the Gallery, but for the most part the Mondo guys have delivered exactly what they said they would. Shows like Jay Shaw’s Don’t Go Out Tonight and (more recently) the Brandenburg & Drake exhibition have leveled Mondo’s playing field, giving artists and subjects that might not normally get the same amount of play in the company’s week-to-week drop schedule a chance to shine.
And let’s make no mistake: this is about the fans just as much as it is about the wide array of interests held by the Mondo staff. There’s the type of Mondo collector that gets excited about the company dropping, say, a Dark Shadows poster…and then there’s the type of collector that gets excited about seeing the sort of work that was on display at last night’s opening of Tina’s Mom’s Boyfriend. Neither of these hypothetical fans have better taste than the other, and by offering up prints to satisfy each of them Mondo continues to maintain both its unpredictability and its admirable diversity of style. There’s something for everyone, in other words, and we’re all better off for it.
Never has this been more apparent than at last night’s show. Australian artists Sonny and Biddy—the enormously personable Australian team that make up We Buy Your Kids (hi, guys!)—produced what has to be the most divisive, aggressively “different” show ever displayed inside the Mondo Gallery. These guys have produced a few posters for Mondo in the past (see their Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn poster above), and they’ve always been considered one of the Mondo roster’s more “acquired tastes”, but one gets the impression that Sonny and Biddy wouldn’t have it any other way: while chatting with them at one point, they talked about the challenges they encountered in creating a poster for The Shining, and how determined they were to produce something unique, something wholly unlike any of the other posters that have been produced for that film over the years. As you can see below, they definitely achieved that goal.
Before we go any further, let me offer up the following: a video walking tour of Tina’s Mom’s Boyfriend, which will show you each and every piece that’s currently available for purchase at the Mondo Gallery. You’ll be thrilled to learn that I remembered to hold the iPad horizontally this time:
So, as you can see, this show was about as “outside the box” as one could hope for. In speaking with those in attendance, I found the audience to be entirely divided: there were pieces that most people generally agreed upon as being the “best of the best” (Jurassic Park, Poltergeist, The Thing), while others were so strange that it was possible to see some in attendance physically struggling with their reactions to the work. It was kind of awesome, as were the wall murals that WBYK had installed earlier in the week:
For the moment, there’s been no announcement regarding the online sales for any of these pieces, but the smart money’s on an announcement arriving sometime this week as to when we can expect to see them made part of an online drop. As you can see in the video above, the majority of the prints were all from a run of about 150 prints, and each was 18x24” with a $35 price tag. I’ve uploaded a few photos of the prints that I’ll include below (y’know, if video isn’t your thing), but we’ll throw up another post sometime in the near future with hi-res images of these prints once Mondo announces when the online sale’s going to happen.
As always, this was a fantastic evening and a great chance for fans to meet another pair of Mondo artists. Special thanks to the Mondo team (especially Rob Jones, for contributing a lighter), the awesome folks at Fons PR, Sonny and Biddy (let’s do that interview soon!), and everyone else who came out to make this such an awesome night. We’ll keep you updated on when the remaining prints from Tina’s Mom’s Boyfriend will be going up for sale online, and will also be back this weekend with yet another exclusive video walking tour, this one from Guzu Gallery’s Kaiju-themed Strange Beasts show (it was pretty awesome).
Until then, 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!