Generations of stonecutters precede Monti, whose family emigrated from the Northern Italian town of Clivio, Vareze, situated on the border with Switzerland. He attended the Barre School of Memorial Arts in Vermont, upon his return from military service after WWII. He was to spend the next 20 years working for the family monument business.
In the 1950s, a new technique was developed using torches to cut through huge blocks of granite in quarries. Monti tested it out on smaller sculptures, drawn to the technique because using flame is as close to nature as you can get. In the following years Monti developed and refined his technique, creating fountains, sculptures and monuments for a wide variety of civic, university, health care and private clients.
The Monti family has long contributed to the public artwork of the City of Boston and beyond – from the granite eagles on the four corners of the customs tower carved by Monti's father in 1915, to the massive fountain at the Boston University Communications Building on Commonwealth Avenue, created by Monti in 1976. Some of Monti's other public pieces include Stonehill College's Courtyard fountain, NYC's Museum of Jewish Heritage's Stone Garden (a collaboration with fellow artist Andy Goldsworthy, captured by photographer Richard Avedon) and The City of Quincy, MA Merrymount Park fountain. And while those are perhaps the most prominent pieces, their numerous works can be found throughout the city, state and region.
The Monti family still runs a monument company and sculpting business in Quincy and still cuts stone like they did in the early 1900s – focusing on using local, New England granites.
Whether it be creatively combining the natural sound of water flowing over a waterfall of sculptured granite, monumental in size and scope or scaled down to set off a secluded section of a garden, Monti has dedicated his life to breathing life and art into stone. Even the simplest birdbath becomes a piece of art – individually sculptured for presence and function. Granite benches are sculpted to appear as if taken from the legendary New England stonewalls while torch sculptured mushrooms appear to emerge from the moss beds of gardens. His drive as an artist and sculptor is to emulate the essence of nature – a style that is easily recognizable and often emulated.