Mondu, American (1959 - )

Mondu

As a visual learner MONDU gravitates to the actual creation of images as a way to humor a brain hard wired to download and retrieve hundreds of thousands of pictures. Born in Manhattan, NYC, USA in 1959, and raised there, he acquired his first camera, a Kodak Instamatic Hawkeye at the age of 8 by responding to an offer on the back of a cereal box, requiring a couple of box tops and a small dollar check. He subsequently carried this camera, then a Konica rangefinder S2, and a Nikomat F everywhere he went, shooting over 2,500 35mm pictures which are presently all digitized and archived.

During his college years at Hobart and William Smith, Columbia University, UCLA, and UC Boulder he studied European History, Religious Studies, Art History, Astronomy, Photography and Film Production. His final dissertation for the Independent Study Studio Art requirement was a solo exhibition of his black and white photographs depicting gritty and decaying cityscapes of the 1970s. His baccalaureate dissertation was a bi-disciplinary study of the effects of the propagandist film-maker and photographer, Leni Reifenstahl on the hearts and minds of the German people during the Third Reich. Today, photography still has an important place in the oeuvre of his work. Many of the portfolios and series have a photographic element as a part of the mixed media, self-appropriated and reworked images that eventually become finished artworks. As Jasper Johns once said: “Take something, do something to it, then do something else to it.”

After graduating, MONDU went on to produce sporting goods companies’ promotional films, MTV teaser ads, and television commercials for LGFE, a division of JWT. He then crossed over to the production side of the business and represented film directors. MONDU continued his education at NYU and proceeded to then manage the international businesses for two leading art dealers from the EU.

This journey has ironically led to the development of a body of artwork that looks not at the empirical world as seen through the eyes, ears, and senses. Instead, the oeuvre is a reflection of an unseen world, a sub particle world; a world that inhabits The Space Between The Spaces. The paintings are created over time and through the use of many layers that eventually weave together to build up what one would see in the minutiae of the micro-nano universe. The development of a picture is always the expression of an impulse, a force of and from nature. A fusion of natural law and spontaneous energy communicated through paint.

Kandinsky, Hofmann, Miro, Francis, Pollock, Ryman, Polke, Stingel, Wool, Klee, Bradley, Muniz, Piene, Burri, Ryman. These artists inform the work. Mondu takes their masterful influence and marinate it into his own personal style of abstraction. At once both dizzying and calming, a picture reflects the dialectical tension between a wave and a particle. Between a moment and eternity, between supersymetry and abject chaos.

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The White Paintings came out of the Dust Plasmons In Space Series (2012-2014) dependence on color fields. Rhetorically: Why are colors even necessary? Maybe there is no color whatsoever outside of the human experience and inside sub-atomic partices? How to execute the same concepts of the Space Between the Space Series without color? Influenced by Robert Ryman, the challenge presented itself and the works were executed on canvas in larger scale.

Using the Planck length (lP, is a unit of length, equal to 1.616199(97) times ten to the minus 35th power) and the concept of visualizing the world at ten to the minus 35th power the paintings subtly challenge us all to try and grasp what transpires in that micro-world scientifically referred to as QUANTUM FOAM. The Planck length can be defined from three fundamental physical constants: the speed of light in a vacuum, the Planck constant, and the gravitational constant. Put those in a bucket of white paint and see what happens. Behold. The pictures are microverses inhabiting a world of such immense complexity that matter itself is subjected to a whole different set of rules and variables including folds within folds within folds. And, in this micro realm one wonders if a photon is also not slowed a fraction and thus rendering the Einsteinian constant speed of light subject to variables as wellÖÖ

Even at this sub atomic micro level, the smallest objects that comprise our understanding of the physical world are transformed by their relative surroundings and conditions and can and do warp around, through, and into the creases and wrinkles of gaps, holes, and openings in dark matter (26.8%) and dark energy (68.3%). Like a huge symphony orchestra where all the musicians work in unison, the material world also exhibits a certain level of cooperation and harmony to accomplish the tasks at hand. It would be simple to extrapolate a vision of this system as being quite random and chaotic. But actually the opposite appears to be true. Vibrational entities work with, not against each other to bring complex events to the forefront within the space-time continuum.

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