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Arts & Culture

Franco Mondini-Ruiz: Bluebonnets and camp

Photo: Josh Huskin, License: N/A

Josh Huskin

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo

Franco Mondini-Ruiz, Almost an Onderdonk

How are these new works related to your other paintings?

My earlier landscapes were prompted by Impressionism. When I painted during my Rome Prize residency [2004-2005], I thought they were going to laugh me out of Italy, but they loved them. It took a while for me to evolve to making local landscapes, which were tied to bluebonnets, and so tied to scary white lady dominant culture, right? I don't know if you can quote me on that, but, right?

But there was something about that world that I thought I did not belong to, even though I grew up in a field of bluebonnets in Boerne. It was very Daughters of the Republic of Texas; just as they taught you that the Alamo didn't belong to you, somehow I thought that whole genre didn't belong to me. But it was just my ignorance. But I educated myself, and lo and behold: many of those landscape painters were Latinos. And even my mother's generation — all of those Latina ladies, they wanted bluebonnets, too. It was the status quo. And you know what? Bluebonnets are hard to paint. They can look really hokey, really easy.

Almost an Onderdonk
Texan Contemporary Artist Series:Franco Mondini-Ruiz

9am-5pm Mon-Sat,
noon-5pm Sun
801 E César Chávez
(210) 458-2300
On view to September 2

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