Artist, collector and founder of Cultural Traffic, Toby Mott is something of an art world maverick. Kicked out of various schools for persistent misdemeanours he had to settle at Pimlico Comprehensive, a school that he would later describe as being the making of him. With a disinclination for conventional work he found himself living in a squat with a Dickensian like crowd of punks, drag queens, drug addicts and petty criminals, amongst whom he found friendship with Marilyn, Princess Julia and Boy George.
Immersed in creative chaos, this rebel with a cause was the chief instigator of the fondly remembered Grey Organisation who infamously carried out the grey paint attack on the windows of targeted art dealers on Cork Street. He was arrested for his trouble. Then, having fought the law and won, the young Mott embraced Thatcherism and the Malcolm Mclaren dictum of turning chaos into cash. He created the Del La Soul Album cover for ‘3 feet high and rising’ licensed designs to Swatch Watch and found himself represented as an artist by hard core contemporary art dealer Maureen Paley.With a Warholian disregard for the divisive categorisation that separates high and low art, Mott created ‘Toby Pimlico’ and set about ruffling the feathers of the fashion crowd. His fashion brand celebrated with some irony, ‘Lines’; the preferred punishment meted out by strict authoritarian teachers at schools up and down the country. Mott’s cheeky, Pop meets Punk, deadpan designs appeared on coffee cups, greeting cards and T-shirts and found a following amongst a class of international celebrities.