Other artists could learn a thing or two from Monty Montgomery, the artist we chose for this week's cover of CityBeat. The Virginia-born and -bred artist has the drive of a one-man PR machine, having already done shows at Whistle Stop Bar and at Mesh and Material boutiques since moving to San Diego nine months ago.
The 34-year-old has a résumé that includes running three galleries in Charlottesville, Va., shows across New York while working with the distinguished collective Sound of Art, running his own alternative clothing line and collaborations with Dave Matthews Band and G. Love.
With all he's got going on, it's not surprising that this week's cover art, “Going Bananas,” was inspired by a period
of time where Montgomery was feeling a little overwhelmed.
“It was a piece that came to life in a period when I truly was going bananas,” Montgomery says. “I was sitting in the studio one day and had a list of all that was going on with my art in front of me. Things to accomplish, places to be, etcetera. I was pumped about each and every task but remember thinking to myself, Oh man, things are going bananas. There you have it.”
Looking at the clean lines and intricacies of Montgomery's pieces (which can be seen at www.cillidesigns.com), you get the sense that the artist may owe much of his accomplishments to his meticulousness nature and upbringing.
“I started doing art really young,” Montgomery says. “Grabbing crayons and markers and trying to fill in good old-fashioned coloring books. I remember having a massive amount of coloring books and being able to sit for hours and try to get each page perfect.”
“My dad is quite the neat freak,” he says. “To this day, I totally believe that the clean lines in my work are from watching him keep everything so straight and organized.”
This organization and commitment to detail can be seen at his new show, A Sip, which is currently on view at Java Jones, Downtown.
“Almost every single one of my pieces has a specific meaning to it, a vibe, a feeling or message that I want you to take in and walk away with,” Montgomery says. “I not only want to hit you with my vision of color and lines, but even more so with the message within each painting. My job is to create art that makes you feel, lets you know that you are alive and have much to understand. You need to make the effort to understand it.”