Poodles & Pastries (and Other Important Matters):

New Works by Franco Mondini-Ruiz

The fourth installment of the NEW FRONTIERS Series for Contemporary Art, Poodles & Pastries (and Other Important Matters): New Works by Franco Mondini-Ruiz presented a site-specific installation of approximately 1,000 small-scale paintings, most measuring 8 x 10 inches. Poodles, Parisian icons, pastries, cupcakes, chandeliers, couples, and fashionable women appeared on canvases, embodying a visual extravaganza of imagery. Quick brushstrokes offset by vibrant colors of pink and blue captured spontaneity reminiscent of fashion illustrations. Witty titles evoked the poetic voice and humor of the artist. In essence, these paintings were miniature utopias to behold.

Born in 1961 in San Antonio, Texas, Franco Mondini-Ruiz is an internationally-acclaimed visual artist based in Texas. The son of an “upper-crust” Italian father and a “working-class Tex-Mex” mother, the artist references a hybridity of high and low culture, class and art. A self-taught artist, Mondini-Ruiz graduated from St. Mary’s University with a Bachelor of Arts and a Juris Doctor before becoming a lawyer in San Antonio. Named one of the “25 Movers and Shakers” in ArtNews (November 2004), Mondini-Ruiz has been featured in numerous museums and international shows and he has been awarded many prestigious grants and prizes. Mondini-Ruiz is a 2004 recipient of the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, and the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant. Exhibitions include Infinito Botánica (1999) at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College; Mexique (2000) at the Museo del Barrio, New York; Ultrabaroque: Aspects of Post-Latin American Art (2000–2003) at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; and the 2000 Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

About the Series
NEW FRONTIERS Series for Contemporary Art underscores the Museum’s commitment to the art-of-our-time and to recognizing contemporary art as a critical and dynamic part of our daily lives. The series provides a framework for the exchange of ideas between the Mu­seum, artists, and the community, while connecting us to the contemporary art dialogue and to new perspectives in the field.