Mondo, those purveyors of the coolest geek art on the planet, are teaming up with Universal for a new gallery show that will celebrate all things Jurassic Park. Yes, the timing of this show, so close to the release of Jurassic World, isn’t an accident. And yes, you should be excited for what Mondo has been cooking up. When you’re done humming John Williams’ iconic theme music, prepare yourself for an exclusive look at two very cool pieces from the show, as well as an interview with Mondo’s CEO and creative director, Justin Ishmael.

Titled “When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth,” the gallery will bring together dozens of renowned artists from the around the world to celebrate Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece. If you’ve ever wanted to see the likes of Becky Cloonan, Jason Edmiston, Aaron Horkey, Jock, Rich Kelly, Ken Taylor, and countless other noteworthy artists take on T-Rexes and Velociraptors, this is the gallery show for you.

Below is our interview with Ishamel, where we talk about why Jurassic Park still holds up and which dinosaur was the most popular amongst the artists who participated in the gallery. Also below is our exclusive first look at two pieces by Nicole Gustafsson and Gary Pullin.

Jurassic Park is one of those movies that defined me as a movie fan. It’s iconic. What does it represent to you?

There are lots of stories about how I saw it when I was little and there’s the nostalgia side of it. But I feel like, over the years, it has re-proven itself on repeat viewings. It’s not solely nostalgia. As I get older, I'm getting more into studying the Dennis Muren—Phil Tippett—Stan Winston trifecta and how their effects still hold up better than most modern day effects. I love how that was the torch-passing to computers by the guys who had done practical stuff. With the artwork specifically, it’s always fun to get people involved that work outside of the poster realm, not doing screen prints. Jock did an original [for the gallery] and several other guys did paintings. We still did posters and they came out great, too.

When you started assembling the line-up for the show, did certain artists demand to create certain scenes? Did anyone call dibs on a particular subject or dinosaur?

If you do something Star Wars, you’re going to get a lot of Darth Vader stuff. This show was the T-Rex. Everyone loves the T-Rex. We tried to let people do as much as they wanted to with whatever scene they wanted to with the understanding that if they did that, there would be other people doing that, too. Sometimes they’d be like “Oh, I want to do something else.” We left it up to them ultimately, but we were honest!

Nicole Gustafsson, Mondo

The two previews that we were sent really do represent the two sides of Mondo. There’s Nicole Gustafsson’s painterly depiction of a classic scene and Gary Pullin’s more abstract, iconic, poster-friendly work.

We’ll definitely have the iconic stuff that feels very Spielberg, very big. And then we have a lot of artists doing their interpretations of different dinosaurs from different scenes. We also have a “Mr. DNA” vinyl record that will be released that night.

For shows like this, do you exclusively go after fans to create the art or do yo try to get a few non-fans involved for a unique perspective?

For this show, I don’t think there was anyone who hadn’t seen the movie or didn’t like the movie. I think the only person who doesn’t like the movie is [Mondo creative] Rob Jones! Maybe that’s just an age thing. I don’t know! I think everyone in this show was into the movie. I’ll let you know. It’s definitely not impossible.

Gary Pullin, Mondo

So all of the artists were fans who wanted to re-interpret their favorite scenes and characters. What about you? Was there one thing, a dinosaur, a character, a moment, that you personally had to make sure was in the gallery?

I wanted to see more Raptor stuff and I wanted to see more Dilophosaurus stuff. I think they’re great co-stars. Those are both in. There’s the hill scene with the Dilophosaurus and there are a few Raptor pieces. The one thing I wanted to do with the show, and I don’t think it’s going to happen but it would have been really funny, was to have a giant mound of Triceratops crap in the back yard [behind the gallery]. That would have been the only reference outdoors to what the show was! You’d have a glove you could put on and stuff you could dig out. Maybe next time.


“When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth” will open on June 12 and run through June 27. You can visit the gallery for yourself at 4115 Guadalupe Street in Austin, TX. If you can’t make the trip, stick around for ScreenCrush’s continuing coverage. We will have a full gallery of every painting and poster available for your perusal soon after the show’s opening night.