Robert Montgomery

Artist — London

Photograph by Satomi Yamuchi

Name
Robert Montgomery

What do you do?
I'm an artist. Sometimes an artist and a poet.

Where are you from?
I was born in Lanarkshire, I've lived in London for a long time now.

Describe your style in three words?
Camden Market 1985.

If you could spend an hour with one artist in history?
It would be the German artist Joseph Beuys. As well as making poetic installation art he helped found the Green Party in 1980. He was an artist who was very committed to positive political change. You should check out the anti-Ronald Reagan song he did for MTV www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQ1_ALxGbGk

If you could keep one book - what would it be?
It would be the new collection of poetry "Perishing Tame" by my girlfriend Greta Bellamacina, which is published by New River Press www.thenewriverpress.com/new-page

Who would be your most creative Briton?
I think all my heroes are European. I'm very suspicious of the lens of Nationalism. I'm gonna say Andre Breton.


Robert Montgomery works as a conceptual artist creating billboard poems, light pieces, fire poems, woodcuts and watercolors. His works bring together poetery, lyricism, typography, graffiti and installation art.

www.robertmontgomery.org

www.thenewriverpress.com

First track you played on repeat?
It would be 3 Tracks - the beginning of the B-Side of The Jam live album "Dig The New Breed" which is "Ghosts", "Standards" and "In The Crowd". This record came out in 1982 just as The Jam were splitting up and I was 10 years old. I bought it the day it was released and I was obsessed with Paul Weller's ability to write songs that were poetic and political all at once. I still put this era Paul Weller as the song-writer who has inspired me the most. If you listen to these 3 tracks in a sequence you get the breadth of his Romanticism and post-punk polemicism. I still think the way he mixes romance and anger is unrivalled and I still want to write like this when I write the texts for my artworks.

One record you would keep forever?
"Teen Age Riot" by Sonic Youth.

Song that defines the teenage you?
"Hand in Glove" by The Smiths

A song lyric that has inspired you?
"The ghost of electricity howls in the bones of her face,
where these visions of Johanna have now taken my place”
Bob Dylan, 'Visions of Johanna'

Best Gig you have ever been to?
The Fall live in Edinburgh. I went to Edinburgh College of Art. I must have gone to at least 10 Fall gigs as they played in Edinburgh a lot, where Mark E Smith lived for a time. It was a real art school treat to be able to see The Fall every 6 months or so. The definitive live track has to be "Fortress / Deer Park" from Hex Enduction Hour.

A song you wished you had written?
"Blue Factory Flame" by Songs:Ohia. Jason Molina is the great lost songwriter of my generation. His work should be much more widely acclaimed. I think he was as important as Dylan but modern America was too stupid to recognise that.

Four new songs you can’t stop playing now?

Rowland S Howard - "Autoluminescenct”
Greta Bellamacina is a very musical writer, and she is brilliant at turning me on to lost classics, and this really is a lost classic.

The War on Drugs - "Under The Pressure" from "Lost in the Dream"
I'm really interested in bands who grow as writers and musicians as they go through their career, where you can see learning and increased subtlety album by album. This is an album that shows that pop music is an art form.

The National - "I Need my Girl"
The song of my last two summers.

The National - "Humiliation"
Lyrically masterful - "In the sky over black Venice I see the eyes of a white menace" Donald Trump is the white menace of this song for me. Donald Trump and Nigel Farage are the biggest threat to our civilisation for many decades.

 

Photograph by Satomi Yamuchi

Name
Robert Montgomery

What do you do?
I'm an artist. Sometimes an artist and a poet.

Where are you from?
I was born in Lanarkshire, I've lived in London for a long time now.

Describe your style in three words?
Camden Market 1985.

If you could spend an hour with one artist in history?
It would be the German artist Joseph Beuys. As well as making poetic installation art he helped found the Green Party in 1980. He was an artist who was very committed to positive political change. You should check out the anti-Ronald Reagan song he did for MTV www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQ1_ALxGbGk

If you could keep one book - what would it be?
It would be the new collection of poetry "Perishing Tame" by my girlfriend Greta Bellamacina, which is published by New River Press www.thenewriverpress.com/new-page

Who would be your most creative Briton?
I think all my heroes are European. I'm very suspicious of the lens of Nationalism. I'm gonna say Andre Breton.


Robert Montgomery works as a conceptual artist creating billboard poems, light pieces, fire poems, woodcuts and watercolors. His works bring together poetery, lyricism, typography, graffiti and installation art.

www.robertmontgomery.org

www.thenewriverpress.com

First track you played on repeat?
It would be 3 Tracks - the beginning of the B-Side of The Jam live album "Dig The New Breed" which is "Ghosts", "Standards" and "In The Crowd". This record came out in 1982 just as The Jam were splitting up and I was 10 years old. I bought it the day it was released and I was obsessed with Paul Weller's ability to write songs that were poetic and political all at once. I still put this era Paul Weller as the song-writer who has inspired me the most. If you listen to these 3 tracks in a sequence you get the breadth of his Romanticism and post-punk polemicism. I still think the way he mixes romance and anger is unrivalled and I still want to write like this when I write the texts for my artworks.

One record you would keep forever?
"Teen Age Riot" by Sonic Youth.

Song that defines the teenage you?
"Hand in Glove" by The Smiths

A song lyric that has inspired you?
"The ghost of electricity howls in the bones of her face,
where these visions of Johanna have now taken my place”
Bob Dylan, 'Visions of Johanna'

Best Gig you have ever been to?
The Fall live in Edinburgh. I went to Edinburgh College of Art. I must have gone to at least 10 Fall gigs as they played in Edinburgh a lot, where Mark E Smith lived for a time. It was a real art school treat to be able to see The Fall every 6 months or so. The definitive live track has to be "Fortress / Deer Park" from Hex Enduction Hour.

A song you wished you had written?
"Blue Factory Flame" by Songs:Ohia. Jason Molina is the great lost songwriter of my generation. His work should be much more widely acclaimed. I think he was as important as Dylan but modern America was too stupid to recognise that.

Four new songs you can’t stop playing now?

Rowland S Howard - "Autoluminescenct”
Greta Bellamacina is a very musical writer, and she is brilliant at turning me on to lost classics, and this really is a lost classic.

The War on Drugs - "Under The Pressure" from "Lost in the Dream"
I'm really interested in bands who grow as writers and musicians as they go through their career, where you can see learning and increased subtlety album by album. This is an album that shows that pop music is an art form.

The National - "I Need my Girl"
The song of my last two summers.

The National - "Humiliation"
Lyrically masterful - "In the sky over black Venice I see the eyes of a white menace" Donald Trump is the white menace of this song for me. Donald Trump and Nigel Farage are the biggest threat to our civilisation for many decades.

 

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