Monty is an artist. He’s also a fictional character and subject of the exhibition produced by Kwon Lee and curated by Zoe Watson at Copperfield Gallery. Artists Rob Bailey, Nic Farrell, Rachel Goodyear, Geo Law, Ariel Luke, Ian Pollock, Adam Renshaw and Adrien Tirtiaux display work exploring the multi-faceted character of Monty.
The exhibition display is like a game of Cludo. The artworks dotted around the gallery space act as clues to the personality of the elusive Monty. Artist Ian Pollock presents ‘Permanent PV’, an installation made up of several freestanding illustrations backed on birch plywood. These illustrated characters are part human and part screw. They are surprising and surreal. Maybe they suggest a certain mechanical behaviour of guests during contemporary art exhibition openings!
‘Fly, 2019’ by Geo Law is a print of a hand and an oversized fly suspended from the ceiling of the gallery. The work also appears as an animated giff on the exhibition page of the Copperfield Gallery website. There’s a dark, comic inevitability in the work. It’s slapstick.
It turns out Monty is a bit of a prankster. He also makes playful interventions in the show which reflect his concerns as an artist, curator and technician. In pure comic style Monty has clamped a pair of false teeth to the top of the wooden arch in the central gallery space. His other works comically disrupt the space with humour. ‘Anywhere But Here’ is a bunch of black pipe cleaners tied together with two buttons and an ear bud for a face.
We finally get a glimpse of the infamous Monty in a painting by artist Ariel Luke. ‘Monty Not For Sale’ is a portrait of the man himself. He Looks serious and thoughtful, but he also has a twinkle in his eye.
‘Monty’ continues at Copperfield Gallery until Saturday the 2nd of March 2019.