Sep 22, 2011

PROFILE | Monty Montgomery

u change, 2011.  Acrylic on canvas, 22” x 28”
Monty Montgomery is an artist that I recently came across through Facebook after a few of my friends ‘liked’ his work.  I was instantly intrigued by his use of color and clean edges.  While I am fascinated by much of the contemporary art I find online, most of it fails to stick in my mind for long periods of time.  I have found myself coming back again and again to look at Montgomery’s paintings.

Monty Montgomery expresses emotion in his paintings through his use of vivid colors and hard outlined edges.  It is hard to pinpoint his style, but it I see a mixture of pop art and graffiti with its delineated everyday objects that are vibrantly painted.  His collage-like layering and checkered backgrounds gives a depth that moves your eye through the levels while the bold lines carry you across the image.

As the Crow Flies, 2009. Acrylic on canvas, 30” x 40”

Montgomery credits the use of stars in his work to his childhood memories of spending time with his grandfather as they discussed and observed the night sky.  The stars and style of Montgomery’s work is reminiscent of Peter Max’s “cosmic 60s” art.  This evocative imagery is enhanced by the emphasis on surface and use of flat planes of color.

Humming, 2011.  Acrylic on canvas, 30” x 40”

When asked in an interview about his inspiration, Montgomery replied:
From the moment I wake up in the morning to the moment I hit the hay every night, everything I take in from people inspires my art!  I could be standing in line at the market or sitting under a tree in the park and no matter what mood surrounds me, I am creating my next painting or design with that which I am handed or hear.  I am strongly inspired with messages from people’s conversations, or words that might hit me in the moment on a Billboard, a newsstand, someone having an awesome day or that really bad moment we all hate to go through.  I am inspired by raw emotion and all of the paths that it might carry a person down.  I am open and looking for that every day and when I feel a dose of it in a situation I take it, I use it, I create from it!

Sauce, 2009.  Acrylic on canvas, 24” x 36”

In addition to working in his studio, Montgomery is also a live painter.  This type of performance art allows for the observers to interact with and influence his work.  His painting Sauce is an example of one of his live paintings.  It was created live while musicians G. Love and Special Sauce played on stage in San Diego.

Montgomery was born and raised in Virginia.  He completed his BFA from Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia in 1998 and has been exhibiting his work since 2002.  He began a company called Cilli Original Designs where the focus is on art, clothing, designs, poems, pictures, photos and alternative culture.  His designs are featured on various items, such as skateboards, t-shirts, spray paint cans, and i-phone cases.  Montgomery currently lives in San Diego, California.

-Theresa Newton


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