In 1910 Hans Sachs founded ‘Das Plakat‘ (‘The Poster‘) — a quarterly magazine with the chief concern of chronicling posters for collecting and academic purposes. At the time Sachs held over 12,000 posters in his private collection. His collection would later be confiscated by the Nazis and Sachs would flee Germany, leaving the legal battle for the return of his art collection to his later generations.
For those in the world without the compulsion to buy and seek out posters, or art in general, this brief story of Sachs is odd. Why did he have so many pieces of printed paper? Why was this accomplished man (a successful dentist) starting a poster magazine? Can Sachs be tossed off with a simple label? Hoarder. Obsessive compulsive. A completist. I don’t know the answer, but I do understand where Sachs was coming from. There is an internal thrill to a beautifully printed piece of paper. The deft flow of line work, of composition. You tell yourself, ‘I don’t need any more posters,’ yet you want it. An impractical impulse. My own collection may only tip into the hundreds, but that compulsion is real. I just prefer to call it an ‘appreciation.’
For only the second year the boutique poster gallery Mondo curated their own convention, MondoCon, in their hometown of Austin, Texas. The event brought in artists from all over the world plus collectors from just as far. For an event that did not open its doors until Saturday at 10AM, there were lines already formed outside of the Marchesa Theater on Thursday — fans wanting to ensure they were able to pick up the limited edition posters and original artwork available from their favorite artists.
MondoCon weekend was my tenth or so trip to Austin for a Mondo event and this time I brought along photographer Holly Burnham, who I had used to shoot the reference photos for the Evil Tender Presents: In Reference gallery exhibit done in early 2015. She is an enthusiastic observer and it shows in her work.
We were unsuccessful in photographing every artist and every release at MondoCon, and that is a shame but it also wasn’t the goal. Unlike Sachs’ ‘Das Plakat‘ our work wasn’t strictly for academic purposes. What follows below is our attempt to highlight the artists — give respect to the people that create the art worth collecting. Worth living with. Art that inspires.
A more in depth review with additional photographs from Holly Burnham was published by HOW Design — MondoCon in Review: Celebrating Boutique Poster Design