Sunday Inspiration: poetry ‘vandal’ Robert Montgomery gets first solo show in Hoxton

5 Feb

A new exhibition opened at the KK Outlet in Hoxton this week, showcasing the work of poet ‘vandal’ Robert Montgomery. After clocking an article in the Telegraph, I was blown away by some of Montgomery’s pieces. Simultaneously famous and infamous for hijacking ad space in London, the artist creates striking, inspirational billboards that tackle topics like Capitalism, the Occupy movement and the concept of freedom in the city. Part poetry, part politics – think of him as Banksy with a typepad instead of paintbrush.

Montgomery describes his work as ‘post-situationist’, referring to an artistic movement that liked to capture the audience’s attention in unexpected ways within the public realm. Sensationalists famously saw poetry as an agent for political changed and contributed to the 1968 riots by scrawling poems on the walls of the Sorbonne. It’s a technique that very much echoes with his own – a strong supporter of the Occupy movement, one of his billboards on Old Street talks of ‘100 black flags of anarchists held up at night 100 miles apart.’

Today, Montgomery and his team regularly get met with hugs from impressed bystanders. They famously covered some of Cameron’s campaign posters without getting busted, and his work has recently been spotted on the sides of trucks in Istanbul, on fire in the streets of Paris and lighting up the Brooklyn sky at night.

What really strikes me is the way Montgomery highlights how impacting words can still be. In an age where images are everything and we’ve become complete slaves to the ‘a picture tells a thousands words’ adage, his ad highjacking technique is overwhelmingly simple but still seriously punch packing.


What do you think – have you seen any of Montgomery’s work in situ? Would you be impressed or underwhelmed?

These images are all borrowed from The Independent’s gallery – click here to see all the images. 


2 Responses to “Sunday Inspiration: poetry ‘vandal’ Robert Montgomery gets first solo show in Hoxton”

  1. torquil barker December 31, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    If you wear time on your hands everything is either too early or too late.

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