By the age of 16, the average American child has seen over hundred thousands of advertisements. We all live in an Empire of Signs, and we carry them with us wherever we are – in the associations we make, the jingles that provide the sountrack to our waking lives, and the images that appear in our dreams.
Now imagine instead if it was poetry and art that was the medium and the message of our public domain. Artist Robert Montgomery alights on the possibilities in his moving and mysterious work, to be found in a London underpass, on a hi way billboard, or lighting up the night sky like a bonfire call to action.
Here is visual poetry that we would gladly be exposed to hundred thousands times. At any age.
Robert Montgomery : a Scottish poet, he has been called a vandal, a street artist, a post-Situationist, a punk artist and the text-art Banksy. His work puts poetry in front of people in eye-catching visual formats: from advertising billboards he has covered with poems, to words he has set on fire or lit with recycled sunlight in public spaces – including the Sussex seafront and a Berlin airport. Recently, he has been working on today’s World Poetry Day “Pay with a poem” campaign, through which customers can get coffee in exchange for poetry in cafes across the globe. Montgomery will then collect the public’s poems to create an installation in a secret location.