Mundi or Guðmundur Hallgrímsson, was born in Reykjavík on the 6th of January 1987. At the age of 16 Mundi went to the Hamrahlíð College and then at age 17 to Reykjavík Technical College were he mainly studied Ceramics with 4 older women. At age 18 he applied for the Icelandic Academy of The Arts and was accepted although he had not the acquired age or school background that students are required to have to get in.
At the same time he was accepted in to the commercial agency "Argus" and started working there as a graphic designer.
At the Art Academy Mundi started to work closely with another student called Morri. They later formed the group MoM (Mundi.Og.Morri) and did they're first show at gallery Gillinhæð, which at that time was the upper floor of gallery Kling and Bang.
After studying in the Art Academy for one year Mundi did a project for the cover of the Icelandic phonebook. His Idea was to knit a pattern out of Icelandic wool, which would then be scanned in and used as cover. In the process of having fabric knitted he also designed two other patterns made just for fun. When Mundi came back to the factory and saw the fabrics he was so amazed of one of the patterns he had made of spacemen holding hands in zero gravity, that he drew a sweater at the factory and asked them to make it. Later that day he came to pick up sweater and was trilled! Mundi put it straight on and starts walking around in it. The sweater got allot of attention so he goes down to a well known concept store Kronkron and asked them if they wanted to sell these kind of sweaters. They were wery pleased with the sweater so Mundi made a few more in different colors and started selling them there. He became the first Icelandic designer to ever sell in Kronkron. The "MUNDI sweaters" were very popular and got allot of attention all around Iceland, giving Mundi the Idea of starting his own label and so he did.
Later that year MoM became MoMS when the third member joined in, called Schuyler, an American artist living in Iceland at that time and a student of the Norwegian painter Odd Nerdrum. They're first project was to design identity for a new theater festival called Artfart. That project was a great success, especially because they hanged a bike with balloons in it over the main shopping street in Iceland (Laugarvegur) in the middle of the night. This bike was just recently taken down, but by that time it had become a symbol in downtown Reykjavik. After this they were asked to perform with the Austrian artist Gelitin who were doing a show at Kling & Bang. Mundi and Morris job was to draw the inter performance "Hugris" and so they did. Gelitin were so pleased with the drawing they wanted do collaborate on doing a book witch is still in the making.
FEB 2007. Gelitin's invited moms to come New York to perform with them at Deitch Projects celebrating Jason Schmidt's photography book "Artists".
March 2007. Mundi brings his first collection "To Cool for gravity" to Rendez-Vous (Paris showrom) and got into 10 stores around the world. Amongst them "KTZ" Paris and "Concrete" London. For that collection he also did a show in Iceland where the models walk the catwalk and then falling on top of each other forming a 23 person pile at the end of it. Over 500 people came to the show and were amazed by the performance.
Spring 2007. Mundi was asked do design the identity and look of the final exhibition for the Icelandic Academy of the Arts along with two good friends Svenni and Siggi Odds. For this amongst doing all the graphic design for the event he also had gate built out of destroyed cars that was about 6m high and 15 meters wide, The audience then past trough this gate to enter the exhibition. It was big enough for a big jeep to drive through. When the Mayor saw the gate he said that it did not fit the look of the city and complained to the school. The school had a big fight with the Mayor which ended well, that is, they where allowed to keep it. But then the day after the gate was put on fire. The fire department tried to put out fire but at that time it was already destroyed. The fire starter were never seen.
In June 2007 MOMS travelled with Gelitin and friends to Venice, Italy to participate in the "Hamster wheel" at the Arsenale. MOMS tried to help Gelitin build a gigantic tree sculpture. However, they soon started to think only of themselves and built a MOMS boat. This is how the performance "Hvar er "skipperinn" came to be.
In the Summer of 2007 Schuyler returned to America but Mundi and Morri have continued to do some arty stuff in Iceland.
Mundi and Morri took part in the preparation and organization of an art event called DÍÓNÝSÍA in winter 2006-2007 with only a few other artists. The plan was to send young Reykjavík based artist to the countryside, for ten days in July, to work with inhabitants of Iceland's least populated towns. The intention was to break down boundaries between two very different groups of people, young arty kids and country folks. Mundi and Morri also participated in DÍÓNÝSÍA and travelled to Grundarfjörður with three of their friends to begin building a Pizza Place. Vina-Pizza opened two days later and curious pizza hungry locals came out to visit. Mundi and Morri were responsible for most of the graphic design of DÍÓNÝSÍA.
MoMs got invited to Ireland to take part in the art festival Artisit?
MoMs asked Geltin if they are willing to come and take part and so they did. MoMs and Gelitin build a giant coliseum out of scaffolding with a big pit in the middle were the MoMs and the Gelitins were having the times of there lives. The audiences were then led into the "coloseum" armed with ketchup, brown-souse, dog food, flour, rice, toilet paper and more allowed to throw and squirt at them as they liked. The performance was called "cum and piss". Some members of the audience even pissed at them.
Mundi and Morri organized the "Brakarí" exhibition with four other artists during the L.U.N.G.A young arts festival at art town, Seyðisfjörður. There Mundi and Morri exhibited MOMS - Overkill drawings.
MoMs Showed there overkill drawings at Gallery Lost Horse. The exhibition was called "Tilþrif". They sell all the 10 paintings at the show.
Late 2007. Mundi was picked out to be one of tree Icelandic fashion designers supported by the Icelandic government to show up at Copenhagen Fashion Week in Feb 2008, with a Cat Walk, for Mundi's second collection "The Fisherman's Invasion". Mundi did a Catwalk at "Rådhuspladsen" (City Hall Square) in central Copenhagen involving raw fish.
Feb 2008. MoMs where invited to Paris by Gelitin to work with them on the show "La Louvre - Paris" at Musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris. They took over an entire floor of the museum. They filled the space that the museum gave them with more than 3,000 artworks, from big installations, to small pieces, exhibited from the floor to ceiling. Broken walls, toilets, photographs of men half naked, piles of chairs, pipes, stuffed animals, real birds - this was the world of Gelitin.A whole room is filled with paintings made with modeling clay: a re- visitation of masterpieces referencing Paris: La Joconde (Leonardo da Vinci), etc.
A large band of artistic friends took part in the creation of some works. After being overwhelmed by the vision of all these works (paintings, sculptures, installation, drawings knitting works, photos.) the smell of caramel and cheese, that was used to make some of the works on display. Cheese sculpture, like a big foot was coated with caramel, the smell was very strong as the room was getting warmer and full of visitors.
By that time art and fashion were taking up most of his time resulting in his decision to take a pause from Icelandic Academy of The Arts in the fall of 2008.
Summer 2008. Mundi, Svenni, Siggi Odds and Jonas were asked to design the Identity for Sequences which is an Art Fear held by all the major galleries and museums in Reykjavik.
Summer 2008. Mundi did a performance with Snorri Ásmundsson, Sigtryggur Berg Sigurðsson and Jack the Rapper on Reykjavik's Culture Night 2008 at the Art Museum of Árni Jónsson. The performance rose allot of questions and got allot of attention and "Morgunblaðið" (Reykjaviks oldes newspaiper) said in the revel of the night that it was Reykjavik Culture Night's miracle.
Summer 2008. MoMs went to L.U.N.G.A doing another exhibition, called "Allt í drasli" or "All trashy".
The knight before the opening Mundi got beaten up and his jaw was broken. This gave him the Idea of the performance "The Versus Chamber". In this performance Mundi fought with ten people that signed there name on the door and fair to say he got beaten up again. He did not find out about his jaw being broken until he returned to Reykjavik. Amongst this, MOMS also made an orange tree, paintings and crazy party's.
August 2008. Mundi did a show at Nasa in Reykjavik for his latest and third collection "Fish and the Lionman". For the show he build a 6000 liter fish tank. The plan was to drop the models into the tank giving the audience the an underwater experience hoping that the collection might look a bit more like in zero gravity and pulling them out again.
But as the tank was being filled up with water on the opening night it cracked resulting hundreds of liters folding the club. With the help of every person involved in the show and the fire department they managed to dry up the water and the show started with a minor delay, but of course with out the use of the fish tank.
Oct 2008 Mundi and Morri were invited to London with the Icelandic art group King & Bang to perform at Sirkus a well known club from Iceland that recently was closed down. And was being rebuilt at the British art fair Frieze. This happened the 16th to the 19th of October. The project was a total success, rated to be the highlight of freeze by artforum any many others.
February 2009 Mundi introduces his forth collection "The guts of our forefathers" following with a fashion show in Reykjavík (Reykjavík Art Museum) and later with an installation and tradeshow in Paris. Mundi was also invited to take part in the Nordic fashion biennale where he was introduced amongst a few other well known designers. There he took part in the installation "in front of Creativity - Nordic Fashion Design" and "Laboratory"
March 2009 Mundi Launches his 4th collection "AW09 The guts of our forefathers" in Paris. The show was in a new showroom "studio Charlo". Mundi made a instillation in the space with the collection, and got a lot of good feedback. The collection was then Presented with a show in the Reykjavik art Museum shortly there after. In the show Mundi only used handicapped models which walked the catwalk all in there unique way, warming the harts of the audience often with a big smile or an amazing pose in between the installation covering the catwalk with around fifty random looking lamps. Over 500 people came to the show. The families of the models were happy to let theme take part and so where the models them selves.
June 2009 Mundi was invited to Venice Biennale with his art group MoM's. They went to Venice with Óskar and Amanda to take part in the "drawing room", where they made and sold some drawings with breakfast at the Paradiso. A huge balloon worm was then made as a gift to Raggi Kjartasn for his opening in the Icelandic pavilion.MoM's ran with the worm trough the city of Venice and gave it to Raggi and just after that the string snapped and the worm flew away. Curated by Franseco Stocchi, Paola Clerico and Ilaria Bonacossa. Helping was also Bianca Argimon! The trip was super, Florian and Gabriel from Geletin, were there to and all had alot of fun.
L.U.N.G.A, artfestival for young people, was again held in Seyðisfjörður in summer of 2009. Mundi, of course, did an installation there along with the artist Snorri Ásmundsson. They took over an island in the center of the town. Gave it a new name "Molabola" made a flag and rose a 70 m2 tent on the island. Concerts and performances were held there and people were given new names and a passport to the island.
August 2009 Mundi is finalizing his 5th collection for spring/summer 2010. the collection will be introduced in Paris in October 2009.
1st of September Mundi will joned a NICE conference in Copenhagen which is held in a connection with United Nation climate change conference. Then in December, Mundi takes place in a NICE competition in the copenhagen opera house, where he makes 2 mens wear outfits but does not clame the price :( Nordic Initiative Clean and Ethical (NICE) is a joint Nordic project with the main purpose of motivating and assisting companies in integrating sustainability and social responsibility in their business processes and practices for the better of society. NICE is an educational project and process created for, and in collaboration with the Nordic fashion industry.
Mundi does a performance with Gelitin and MoMs. Gelitin ask MoMs to select 8 Icelandic people to tag along and perform. The performance was in Torino opera house a part of the art festival Artissima. In the performance they all go nuts pissing and puking on each other while building a 10 meeter high wooden sculpture. people in the performance were Gelitin, Ragnar Fjalar Lárusson, Mundi, Morri, Ágústa Eva Erlendsdóttir, Karl Ingi Karlsson, Finnbogi Þór Erlendsson, Guðbrandur Þór Bragason, Svavar Jónatansson, Nick Amato, Gabriel Loebell, Salvatore Viviano, Francesco Stocchi
After Artissima Mundi goes to paris to perform the Versus Chamber V2In this performance Mundi again fights with people but this time in the purpose of painting six suits he has made. He covers him self in black paint and then six people dress up to fight him one after another. The scores come out even Mundi wins three fights and looses three, but maybe it was unfair because in the last fight Olivier Mulin (the oponent) hugs mundi and gives up immediately afterwards leaving that suite only with a paint stain of a hug but not a fight like the rest. Other fighters were Aurora, Theodore (le grand bizzare) Emmanuel, Igor.
Then Mundi goes back to Iceland and opens Mundi´s Boutique on "Laugarvergur" which is the main shopping street in iceland the shop goes super well but the owner then wants to make fish restaurant in the space so the shop was temporarily closed down, to move to the next location
It was Mundi who generously opened the door for me into that exclusive club that is high couture fashion. He is handier than the rest of the industry natives and there is general agreement amongst the vogue types that Mundi has the rare ability to bombshell even the most cynical of the flock. His new design, is an emphatic full-length line and a welcome surprise to industry insiders. It has been introduced to the catwalk and its enthusiastic catwalkers, and is finally available in a ready-to-wear format for the rest of us. Its uncanny style and elegance makes the propensities of its wearer obvious to the human eye. The desire to be at the forefront of changes in mode becomes absolute, and personal appearance "within" the garment has become a key - if not THE key - ingredient of the full-length line. The Mundis (I like to call his garments the Mundis) are shaking the world of faithful followers of fashion, perhaps because the elegance of the ready-to-wear full-length line is somewhat avant-garde? I would love to see some of the best looking women of our days put on his garments. The Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen would look lovely in a sweater by Mundi, and I am confident it would match her flip-flops. And I would sell my soul to old Beelzebub himself to be able to see Kate Moss stomping down the catwalk in her devil-may-care manner wearing nothing but Mundi's underwear. The chic-ness that prevails in today's world often entails enthusiastic but short-lived acceptance, but not the Mundis! The new full-length line is practically adornment-free and is timelessly stylish and pleasing to the eye - and the lower body. The preferred manner of wearing the pieces of clothing (the Mundis) is extremely personal, as it affects the behavior of its wearer and his/her way of life at a given time and that is what makes the garment worth buying. Mundi's items of clothing affect the kids like no other items I know of, like the drug of choice does for the selfish brain (or so I'm told). The conventions of fads adopted by polite society have been turned upside down without any feelings being hurt, although you never know what Donatella Versace will think. People of all fashions should find in this craze something to their liking, even the unsightly and the hideous. The extravagant and the thrifty, the spendthrift homosexuals and the frugal brood of the hood, go hand in hand in their say-so. I say so.
- Text by Ásmundur Ásmundsson