Size: 93 Pages, Transcript
Format: Originally recorded on 5 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 9 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hrs., 12 min.
Summary: An interview of Franco Mondini-Ruiz conducted 2004 July 7-8, by Cary Cordova, for the Archives of American Art, in Alameda and San Antonio, Tex.
Mondini speaks of his parents' disparate backgrounds; his repressed childhood in Boerne, Tex.; his family's electronics store; discovering that his brother was actually his half-brother; attending undergrad and law school at St. Mary's in San Antonio, Tex.; his Catholic rearing; raising his Latino consciousness during and after law school; his life as a successful lawyer; his ingratiation into both rich white and Latino cultures; his partying and coming-out as a gay man; his making of art as a counterpoint to his office work; advice for young Latino artists; the importance of cheap art; exoticizing of Mexican culture by Anglos; quitting law and his experience living in Mexico City; and being diagnosed with HIV. Mondini-Ruiz also speaks of opening his Infinito Botanica and how he operated it; American drug culture; San Antonio's cityscape and his "utopic" hope for it; his "Blue Star on Houston" exhibition; drug use; his show at Bard College as his big break; living with Alejandro Diaz; homosexual and Mexican rococo aesthetics; his exhibit at the 2000 Whitney Biennial and moving to New York City; the importance of found art; the universality of class and race struggles; the problems with over-materialization of artwork; his "Ballroom" show in Marfa, Tex. and the issues confronting that city's arts patronage; his making of the "Spurs Installation"; his new anti-materialistic mindset; and the patterns within his career. Mondini-Ruiz also recalls Michael Tracy, Ito Romo, Rolando Briseno, Sandra Cisneros, Jesse Amado, Donald Judd, Frederieke Taylor, Julia Herzberg, Danny Lozano, Maaretta Jaukkuri, Tracey Moffat, Mike Casey, and others.