By Christian Franzen
Franco Mondini-Ruiz is a contemporary artist living between New York, New York and San Antonio, Texas. He is a multidimensional artist, but primarily works in sculpture and instillation. One of his most notable works is his "Infinito Botánica". For this installation piece, he bought a Botánica in San Antonio and transformed it into a ongoing installation while maintaining the store as a functioning Botánica. Mondini-Ruiz called it "part of a social and figurative sculpture that mixed traditional botánica fare with sculpture and installations, as well as with the contemporary work of local cutting-edge and outsider artists, locally made craft, folk art, cultural artifacts and junk". This project became so popular that he was asked to recreate it in several locations, including the Whitney Biennial in 2000 and the Kemper Art Museum, St Louis in 2001.
My personal favorite of Mondini-Ruiz's work is his series of piñatas. The piñatas were replica versions of famous modern artworks from various artists ranging from Piet Mondrian to Jeff Koons. This series of piñatas was shown across the United States under the title "Modern Piñatas".