Toby Mott
Artist
Toby Mott
Toby Victor Mott is a British artist, designer and part-time Punk rock historian known for his work with the Grey Organisation, an artists' collective that was active in the 1980s, and for his fashion brand Toby Pimlico. More recently he has won acclaim for the Mott Collection, an archive of UK punk rock and political ephemera that includes over 1,000 posters, flyers and fanzines.
Biography
Toby Mott's personal information overview.
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Relationships
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News
News abour Toby Mott from around the web
Why punk and the Queen go hand in hand
Ft.com Financial Times Blogs - over 4 years
‘Sixty Punk Singles’, an exhibition at the Vinyl Factory featuring Toby Mott’s collection, is timed to coincide with the jubilee, says Peter Aspden
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Ft.com Financial Times Blogs article
It's (Probably) Great To Be In Los Angeles for Honor Fraser Show - New York Observer
Google News - over 5 years
Honor Fraser Gallery in Los Angeles will be holding a punk rock panel this Saturday followed by the opening of two punk-themed exhibitions, “Loud Flash: British Punk on Paper,” curated by Toby Mott, and “It's Great To
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Google News article
Art in Review
NYTimes - about 25 years
'Casual Ceremony' White Columns 154 Christopher Street West Village Through Jan. 13 This group exhibition at White Columns, an alternative space dedicated to the work of young and unknown artists, is especially good. It focuses on that famous gap between art and life, an interval that emerging artists find as fascinating today as their counterparts
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NYTimes article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Toby Mott
    FIFTIES
  • 2014
    Age 50
    In 2014, Mott launched the website TobyShop.com as a way to promote the brand.
    More Details Hide Details He released a line of vintage slogan t-shirts for the Toby Shop. The design is similar to t-shirts he first created in 1999, but with a modern twist. The line of shirts features slogans like "Show Me The Moet" and "Saturday Girl." In 2005, Mott was involved in an incident with a "gang" of youths near his home in Notting Hill Gate; according to the British newspaper The Daily Mail, Mott called the police after the assault and told them he was carrying CS gas for his own protection. He was then arrested for possession of a weapon and held for 11 hours at high-security Paddington Green police station.
    In March 2014, Mott participated in London's Jewish Book Week.
    More Details Hide Details He spoke on a panel on the Jewish roots of punk alongside Geoff Travis, Daniel Miller, Charles Shaar Murray, and Vivien Goldman. Toby Pimlico is a fashion label based on paintings by Toby Mott. Mott began making paintings based on detention school 'lines' such as "I Will Try Harder"; these were then transferred onto t-shirts, transforming them into a recognisable design motif. He came up with the brand name, Toby Pimlico, and an initial six designs, including "I Must Not Chase the Boys" and "I Have Nothing To Wear". The T-shirts began to have a cult following after being worn by Kate Moss, the actress Sienna Miller, Geri Halliwell from The Spice Girls and It Girl Tara Palmer-Tomkinson. The label also received praise from the Prince of Wales. Other slogans are used to promote social consciousness, such as the Marie Curie-inspired 'love you to death.'
  • FORTIES
  • 2013
    Age 49
    In 2013, Mott curated an exhibition called "Where Have All The Bootboys Gone?
    More Details Hide Details Skinhead Style and Graphic Subculture." The exhibition was held at the London College of Communication, a constituent college of the University of the Arts London. It was said to be an exploration of the Skinhead subculture, its ties to the punk movement and Oi!, and the aesthetics and politics therein. Mott was criticized for opening the exhibit during Black History Month, but he defended his position saying, "I don't understand the objection. I thought everyone loves skinheads. They are as British as chicken korma."
    Esopus released material from the Mott Collection related to Margaret Thatcher in 2013.
    More Details Hide Details The special edition publication came with several facsimile reproductions of archival materials and a removable insert that commemorated Thatcher's polarizing tenure. Exhibitions and books from the Mott Collection include: On the occasion of the exhibition at Honor Fraser a panel discussion took place moderated by Professor Vivien Goldman of the NYU Tisch School of the Arts, panel members: Gardar Eide Einarsson, Artist, Billy Idol, Punk Musician, Toby Mott, artist, writer and collector, Simon Reynolds, British author and music journalist. Accompanied by the exhibition catalogue: Jubilee 2012 – Sixty Punk Singles, designed and printed by Ditto Press, ISBN 978-1-84321-996-5 An exhibition of forty-five 7" single covers by the German krautrock group Kraftwerk, many designed by Emil Schult. Accompanied by the exhibition catalogue KRAFTWERK. 45RPM, designed and printed by Ditto Press, ISBN 978-09573914-0-6 In the catalogue's introductory essay 'Kraftwerk, Yesterday's Tomorrow', Mott describes the group's aesthetic as "an analogue past dreaming of today's digital present."
    In 2013, Toby Mott exhibited a print edition of the original album art work for De La Soul's 3 Feet High and Rising, displayed alongside memorabilia such as Mott's original sketch, his gold disc, and other items from his private collection.
    More Details Hide Details Mott wrote an essay meant to accompany the exhibition in which he described the creation of the 1989 album art. He was commissioned to design the album cover by Tommy Boy Records and invited the De La Soul trio to his New York loft. Atop a stepladder, he took the now-iconic black and white photograph of the three and added the dayglo "daisy-age" art in post-production. Mott began his collection in the late 1970s. In addition to the iconic works of the era, notably those produced by Jamie Reid for The Sex Pistols and Linder Sterling for the Buzzcocks, it includes propaganda from political groups such as Rock Against Racism and the British National Front and memorabilia from the Silver Jubilee of Elizabeth II, an event that collided with punk's high-water mark in 1977.
  • 2011
    Age 47
    In October 2011, Knightsbridge gallery New Contemporary presented a solo exhibition of paintings by Mott entitled 'This Means Everything'. "The show is collection of new paintings addressing our culture's present preoccupation with fame and success versus the historical background of nihilism and anarchy as epitomised by the punk movement."
    More Details Hide Details
    In September 2011 Toby Mott produced a series of paintings inspired by the 2011 England riots, the resulting exhibition 'Unrest' was exhibited at Vegas Gallery, London.
    More Details Hide Details Many of the paintings in the exhibition were brandished with the slogan 'All Coppers Are Bastards' in gold leaf a reference to the legendary punk/political slogan. Mott said of this exhibition "I was going to call the exhibition, 'I’ll keep looting until I get caught'— a quote from a looter but which could equally apply to a banker, Those at the bottom are taking their lead from those at the top; although the rioters act in a cruder way, it is essentially the same thing."
  • 2008
    Age 44
    Mott divorced celebrity hairdresser Louise Galvin in 2008 after one year of marriage, as reported in the Evening Standard.
    More Details Hide Details Mott met Galvin through a mutual friend, she was already several months pregnant when they married. "The marriage was never going to work, I discovered Louise had matching Louis Vuitton luggage" says Mott. Their daughter was born in 2007.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1991
    Age 27
    When GO disbanded in 1991, Mott pursued a solo career exhibiting at White Columns NYC, The Thomas Soloman Garage, Los Angeles and Interim Art, London.
    More Details Hide Details He was for many years represented by the Maureen Paley gallery.
  • 1989
    Age 25
    In 1989 Mott designed album cover graphics for groups such as Information Society and De La Soul, most notably their debut album 3 Feet High and Rising
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1985
    Age 21
    In January 1985 the group committed an act of "art terrorism" by smuggling one of their paintings into the International Contemporary Arts Fair in London.
    More Details Hide Details The following year they mounted an attack on Cork Street, then the centre of the London art world, splashing grey paint on the windows of a number of galleries. After this, members of the group were arrested and for a time banned from central London. This resulted in them relocating to New York City where they exhibited at The Civilian Warfare Gallery in the East Village.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1984
    Age 20
    During this period Mott appeared in a number of films made by the British director Derek Jarman, notably The Angelic Conversation and also appearing in Gilbert & George's "Exister" pieces from 1984, currently in the Tate Collection.
    More Details Hide Details In the late 1980s and early 1990s he was based in New York and Los Angeles working part-time as a bicycle messenger and as an art director for MTV making music videos for various groups, among them Public Enemy, A Tribe called Quest and The Rolling Stones.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1964
    Age 0
    Toby Mott was born in London 1964.
    More Details Hide Details He received a scholarship to attend the progressive, independent St. Mary's Town and Country School. At some point, the scholarship was withdrawn, and he went on to complete his schooling at Pimlico Comprehensive where he shared a classroom with the screen writer Amy Jenkins and Patrick Harrington an infamous leading member of the National Front. He later studied art at Westminster Kingsway College where Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols was an alumnus. Mott was a founder member of the ASA (Anarchist Street Army, a late 1970s organisation that caused disturbances in the Pimlico area of London). In the early 1980s he lived at the Carburton Street squats in Fitzrovia, a centre of artistic activity at the time – other residents included Boy George, Marilyn, Cerith Wyn Evans, Fiona Russell-Powell and Mark Lebon.
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