Stuart McAlpine Miller | Lost Lives // Split Personalities

LOST LIVES//SPLIT PERSONALITIES

The Rock and Rock Wall of Fame by Estelle Lovatt

As I write this, we are in one of the most challenging periods of our time as unexpected events are happening with Brexit, Megxit, Greta, Trump, BoJo and Coronavirus. Finding peace in art, I can only applaud the impact of McAlpine Miller’s new collection, ‘Split Personalities’. Each portrait, a zealous testament to the life of an iconic rock star no longer alive, except through their music. All-immersive, these portraits are moreover an exposé of you. A self-portrait of you; you becoming part of the picture through personal reflection and identity. When you look at them you’ll hear your favourite hall of fame pop star song in your head. Reliving your younger early teen years, in your mind’s eye you hear each portrait miraculously pitch a melody, hum in tune, purr with harmony, tinkle tones, wax lyrical, bang drums, strum and pluck guitar strings and heart strings. You get the feeling you’re backstage in a dressing room, a private moment before the rock star goes live on stage. As McAlpine Miller says, “The emotion that music can reveal can allow the listener to transport themselves to a time, a place and a feeling. Art can do the same. We just have to open our minds. I felt a shudder

when I heard [t]his music and that feeling still lives with me today”.

McAlpine Miller takes Kandinsky’s synaesthesia to a new level. Mixing Pop Art with pop music, using his paintbrush like a conductors baton, his pencil like Spotify. As McAlpine Miller says, “I generally listen to music by these musicians while painting. Each creates a different emotion and I would imagine my work in the same kind of context as the music I was listening to. Music is an emotion, a feeling and a state of mind. Expression is key. The idea that if I could achieve a fraction of the brilliance of these musicians through my own art really inspired me.” Painting the singers and creatives McAlpine Miller has a special connection to, he “explores the notion of the icon’s ‘split personalities’; the performer and the person, or in some cases multiple personalities, characters or personas. Many musicians and performers have talked openly about the different people or characters they become on stage when playing to audience, the person off stage but in ‘the band’ and the person they are when at home or on holiday. Finding it difficult to switch between the many ‘me’s’

or to find balance.” Meet David Bowie’s rebellious alter-egos achieving fame with more make-up more fashion and more glamour-puss than wuss. From drag-rocker to operatic genius. McAlpine Miller calls it, “‘Code Switching’. Like switching between languages in conversations; adapting dialects, accents and/or mannerisms based on your audience. Now more than ever we seem to wear different ‘hats’ when we are with different groups; work, social, friends, family, all having a slightly different version of ‘you’ for all of them.” We see Ziggy Stardust rise and fall in high-heels just as Amy Winehouse “died a hundred times” back to black the colour of mourning. Whilst in the background, McAlpine Miller’s signature cartoons - some infinitesimally small as an abstract shaped kaleidoscopic pattern - meet Wonder Woman and Super Girl looking drawn like a tarot card outline of a goat’s skull, the Devil’s sacrificial symbol of death. So Winehouse is Millais’s Pre-Raphaelite ‘Ophelia’, offered as a saint and martyr, but sexier. Without doubt, as religious Renaissance portraits served up donor’s mortality, the Dutch Golden Age ‘memento mori’ cries ‘you’ll die’ and Mae West says, “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough!”. So it’s faith holding George Michael, Freddie Mercury and Jim Morrison together to model Christ’s white loin cloth. Staging the crucifixion of Jesus on the cross, the central symbol of Christianity, doesn’t make for a

Christian painting, no. But as we each have our cross to bear, each picture puffs a Rite of Passage towards the afterlife. Death is a part of life. Like Hirst’s miraculous ‘The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living’. Preserved in formaldehyde this 14-foot tiger shark is 23 tons of heavyweight dead weight. Whatever way you want to look at it, [this] art is a gift from god. The Lord, or whatever Deity you believe in - or not, foretells of death and rebirth thereafter restoring body and spirit for all eternity. McAlpine Miller believes, “John Lennon, the greatest of talents, will without doubt ‘live forever’. Music needs to touch the soul and bleed the heart. His did. Equally, as John Lennon and in his relationship inspired by Yoko Ono.” Fellow Beatles band member, the spiritual George Harrison, hands it up to ‘My Sweet Lord’, praising the great Hindu god Krishna under a halo symbolising his saintly side. As McAlpine Miller has “Elvis Presley [very appropriately] under the spotlight. Hailed as The King of Rock and Roll, the eternal light shines on Elvis”. Some are members of the ‘27 Club’ (popular musicians who died aged 27) including Amy Winehouse, Jim Morrison and a smokin’ Jimi Hendrix through Purple Haze “’scuse me while I kiss the sky”. Alas, they all kiss the sky now from a world of highly addictive amphetamines, prescription drugs and hard alcohol that lead to [their] untimely

early deaths. “Significant of our hopes and dreams only to find that not all come to fruition,” says McAlpine Miller, “more relatable than ever. And instantly wowing.” Several faces are painted not once but twice in the same picture. Each legend celebrated over and over as two portraits, side-by-side, living together as one artwork; traditionally a diptych. A pair. Double the meaning double the fun. Respectively twins as unique as Esau and Jacob, Romulus and Remus, Apollo and Artemis. Ronnie and Reggie Kray. Sacred love on the one side and profane love on the other - significantly philosophical and psychological it’s the ‘psychologist’ in McAlpine Miller, “suggesting different characters behind the paintings.” The ‘good-cop bad-cop’, Jekyll and Hyde, Abbott and Costello ‘other side’. It’s about the complex relationship we have with ourselves; me, myself and I. As McAlpine Miller says, “It’s been said, that to be a genius, there must also exist ‘A Personality Defect’. Whether this is entirely true is a question for debate. It can be revealed however that some talents do have certain personality traits which, in some cases, have led to untimely deaths. I want to explore all possibilities without conclusion. After all, asking the question can only produce half the answer.” Which is why McAlpine Miller’s double-portraits are so efficacious.

remind me of Andy Warhol’s blotted-line prints. Warhol printed them to create an image that’s repeated in reverse, the right-hand side a mirror image reflection of the left-hand side. As in McAlpine Miller’s double-portrait where each dearly departed soul looks protected by the shadow of their ‘other self’ - their neighbour, as the second commandment says, ‘love your neighbour as yourself’. McAlpine Miller says, “The idea that we have someone watching over us is a constant theme within these works. Almost suggestive of a guardian angel. Symbolised as the one watching over the vulnerable side of the main character.” Making you look twice, the portrait multiplied by two, equals a stereophonic Holy Ghost. As powerful as Popeye with his spinach keeping you ‘strong to the finich’, and Superman flying high keeping you safe past safety lines and safety pins to ‘Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols’. Little things in the bigger picture of life inspire McAlpine Miller; 1950s American comic book cult heroes; the vintage and the retro; bonbon-colours so brilliantly luminous each looks like a Dan Flavin neon. I’ve said McAlpine Miller is tomorrow’s Old Master-in-Waiting creating a ‘newness’ to portraiture in his 4D signature style I call ‘SuperNatural Realism’. Making ‘Split Personalities’ more than pictures they are biographies in paint.

Certain McAlpine Miller double-portraits

© Estelle Lovatt FRSA

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//LOSTLIVES Music, for Stuart McAlpine Miller, is second only to art as a mode of artistic expression. A talented musician himself, it is no surprise that he has been deeply inspired by many of the great performers, from the 1970s to present day. Lost Lives is a series of original works that strives to honour the subjects in Stuart’s paintings, by recognising the role they have played in shaping the artist that he is today. Speaking of David Bowie, Stuart says: “His music reminds me of why I’m doing what I am today.” Music took on a new meaning for Stuart when he adopted the piano as his instrument of choice. Stuart says: “Music has for me, like many others, greatly influenced my own approach to my art, and the potential it creates within. The emotion that music can reveal allows the listener to transport

themselves to a time, a place and a feeling. Art can do the same. We just have to open our minds.” It is often the musician’s storytelling, the journey conjured through creating a compelling narrative, that appeals to Stuart. We see a similar trait within his art; multifaceted and rich with detail and meaning, it creates intrigue for the viewer. These paintings invite the onlooker to return multiple times to view the pieces, discovering something new with each glance, much like seeing a favourite band time and again in concert – you won’t see exactly the same performance twice. Commenting: “Talent like this needs to be celebrated...over and over again.” . Perhaps this was exactly Stuart’s intention, a prompt to his audience to unravel the multiple layers of each person depicted in Lost Lives.

Oil on Canvas Framed // Image Size 63.5cm x 76.5cm //Isn’t It A Pity

“Amy Winehouse approached her music with an originality from a time gone by. Her combination of ‘Punk Approach’ to life with her incredible vocals, revealed a troubled and dark side to her nature. Her dark side inspired and appealed to an audience impressed by her brilliance.” Stuart M c Alpine Miller

//Back To Black Oil on Canvas Framed // Image Size 81.5cm x 97cm

Oil on Canvas Framed // Image Size 71.5cm x 86.5cm //We All Have Faith

//A Study Into The Mind Oil on Canvas Framed // Image Size 61cm x 71.5cm

Oil on Canvas Framed // Image Size 63.5cm x 76.5cm //The Focus Of My Attention

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//Worthy Of Sacrifice Oil on Canvas Framed // Image Size 63.5cm x 76.5cm

“Mercury was another great influence. Creating original sounds in the 70’s, he went on to sheer brilliance. His ability to alter his approach and retain a fresh feeling for his music was testament to his versatility and creativity.” Stuart M c Alpine Miller

Oil on Canvas Framed // Image Size 63.5cm x 76.5cm //Tortured Genius

//Anxiety Attack Oil on Canvas Framed // Image Size 76cm x 91cm

Oil on Canvas Framed // Image Size 76cm x 97cm //Into Your Soul

“Hendrix explored, experimented and experienced. The utter brilliance of his music could do nothing but inspire. Talent like this needs to be celebrated...over and over.” Stuart M c Alpine Miller

//The Eternal Experience Oil on Canvas Framed // Image Size 71.5cm x 86.5cm

Oil on Canvas Framed // Image Size 61cm x76cm //Man Behind The Mirror

//SPLIT PERSONALITIES

The mixed media Split Personality originals are a creative progression from the origins of the Lost Lives paintings. Here the intention is to unmask the multiple personas behind the performer. In honouring these musical icons, Stuart intends to reveal that the spotlight often belied a darkness in the otherwise seemingly glittering lifestyles of these stars. Stuart digitally remasters scans of the original paintings; through changing colours, adding symbolic references and removing elements, an entirely new image evolves. This new original piece becomes the printed base layer, over which Stuart hand-finishes a subsequent kaleidoscopic layer to complete the piece. This series clearly retains Stuart’s signature style of a pure colourists touch, imbued symbolism and working within layers to

build depth and intensity, and yet it is simultaneously a departure from preview collections. This work conveys a new level of complexity that is nonetheless relatable, and instantly wowing. Having taken eighteen months in research and creative development, Split Personalities is the perfect successor to the much sought- after Lost Lives collection, and will potentially herald a new phase in the already illustrious career of Stuart McAlpine Miller.

//Split Personality Remastered Mixed Media Original on Canvas // Image Size 148.5cm x 103cm

//the future is black Remastered Mixed Media Original on Canvas // Image Size 74.5cm x 90.5cm

//Another Point Of View Remastered Mixed Media Original on Canvas // Image Size 62cm x 76cm

//journey through my thoughts Remastered Mixed Media Original on Canvas // Image Size 78.5cm x 96cm

//Half Way There Remastered Mixed Media Original on Canvas // Image Size 61.5cm x 76cm

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“The greatest of talents, Lennon will without doubt ‘live forever’. Music needs to touch the soul and bleed the heart. His did. Genius. I listen to his music often and the Imagine album was a great benefit to me throughout my years both at the piano and at my easel.” Stuart McAlpine Miller

//A Trip Beyond Imagination Remastered Mixed Media Original on Canvas // Image Size 140cm x 109.5cm

//Altered Imagination Remastered Mixed Media Original on Canvas // Image Size 143.5cm x 103cm

//In My Life I Remastered Mixed Media Original on Canvas // Image Size 70cm x 85.5cm

//In My Life II Remastered Mixed Media Original on Canvas // Image Size 71cm x 85.5cm

Remastered Mixed Media Original on Canvas // Image Size 65.5cm x 76cm //Surrendered Truth

Remastered Mixed Media Original on Canvas // Image Size 87cm x 100cm //a colourless future

//Band Of Brothers Remastered Mixed Media Original on Canvas // Image Size 171cm x 113.5cm

//Reflected Glory Remastered Mixed Media Original on Canvas // Image Size 161cm x 111cm

//Revealed Remastered Mixed Media Original on Canvas // Image Size 62cm x 76cm

//My Alter Ego Remastered Mixed Media Original on Canvas // Image Size 62cm x 76cm

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//Faith Has Two Meanings Remastered Mixed Media Original on Canvas// Image Size 138cm x 102.5cm

//Bright is the light Remastered Mixed Media Original on Canvas // Image Size 75cm x 90.5cm

//Colour My World Remastered Mixed Media Original on Canvas // Image Size 153cm x 109.5cm

//An Image Of My Self Remastered Mixed Media Original on Canvas // Image Size 59cm x 76cm

//Dark Side Revealed Remastered Mixed Media Original on Canvas // Image Size 61cm x 76cm

//Dark Side Of THe Mind Remastered Mixed Media Original on Canvas // Image Size 76.5cm x 90.5cm

//Signed LimitedEditions

//Altered Imagination Deckled Edged Giclée On Paper // Image Size 102cm x 74cm // Framed Size 132cm x 104cm Edition of 95 // £995

//Reflected Glory Deckled Edged Giclée On Paper // Image Size 102cm x 74cm // Framed Size 132cm x 104cm Edition of 95 // £995

//A Trip Beyond Imagination Deckled Edged Giclée On Paper // Image Size 102cm x 74cm // Framed Size 132cm x 104cm Edition of 95 // £995

“George Harrison’s song writing had an incredible beauty and depth. As a band member, he continued to write some of the most memorable songs ever; inspiring and clever he both challenged and excelled. Progressive and spiritual, his work will live forever.” Stuart McAlpine Miller

//Biographical Highlights

2012 Artist in Residence at: The Savoy Hotel, London Various exhibitions at: The Hay Hill Gallery, London Exhibition at: State of the Arts Gallery, Hong Kong Confirmed worldwide publishing deal with: Washington Green Fine Art 2011 Various Solo and Group Exhibitions at: Art & Escape, London Exhibition at: The Hay Hill Gallery, London Exhibition at: State of the Arts Gallery, Hong Kong

2020 Launch of Lost Lives//Split Personalities

2019 Development of Lost Lives//Split Personalities

2018 ‘A Time for Reflection: The Savoy Suite’ to be published as a series of Limited Editions 2017 November 30 - Solo exhibition at Castle Fine Art new flagship Glasgow gallery 2016 Solo exhibition at Hoerle-Guggenheim Gallery, Chelsea, New York, 9 - 30 March 2016 Ongoing Limited Editions, exhibited throughout the UK Private Viewing - Castle Fine Art, Brighton - November Private Viewing - Castle Fine Art, ICC - December 2015 An exhibition of paintings celebrating Pele’s 75th birthday, ‘Art, Life, Football’ at Halcyon Gallery, Mayfair, London - September 2014 Artist in Residence at: The Savoy Hotel, London. McAlpine Miller continues his residency and is currently working on new paintings for the renowned five-star hotel. 2013 Exhibition at: Castle Fine Art, Mayfair. The sold out solo show, ‘Altered Images’. Collaboration with: London Fashion House, Lulu & Co. Commissioned by: Luxure Magazine to create the front cover of this exclusive luxury style magazine. The original painting was unveiled and sold at a star studded event at The Ivy, Leicester Square.

2010 Exhibition at: The Hay Hill Gallery, London Exhibition at: Cross My Art, London 2009 Co-founded art gallery: Art & Escape, London Exhibition at: Kings Road Gallery, London Exhibition at: Affordable Art Fair, London

2008 Private sale: 10 works to British collector

2007 Commissioned by: Decoratum Gallery Exhibition at: Charlotte Street Gallery, London Exhibition at: Catto Gallery, London

Exhibition at: Glasgow Art Fair Exhibition at: Dublin Art Fair

2004 Commissioned by: Paul McCartney 2004 European Tour

Exhibition at: Glasgow Art Fair Exhibition at: Dublin Art Fair

2003 Exhibition at: Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London

1995 Exhibition at: Connought Brown, London Exhibition at: Duncan Miller Fine Art, New York

2002 Exhibition at: Glasgow Art Fair Exhibition at: Dublin Art Fair Exhibition at: New Contemporaries, Business Design Centre, London Exhibition at: Catto Gallery, London

Exhibition at: Chicago Art Fair Exhibition at: Gagliardi Gallery

1994 Exhibition at: Connought Brown, London Exhibition at: Duncan Miller Fine Art, New York Exhibition at: Ruth O’Hara Gallery, New York 1993 Exhibition at: Art Bank, Glasgow Exhibition at: Connought Brown, London

2000 Exhibition at: Catto Gallery, London

1999 Exhibition at: Catto Gallery, London Exhibition at: Duncan Miller Fine Art Exhibition at: Glasgow Art Fair

1992 Exhibition at: Art Bank, Glasgow

1998 Commissioned by: BBC, Bravissimo, McVities, Persil, Renault, Virgin

1991 Exhibition at: Trinity Gallery, London Exhibition at: Poleski Gallery, Italy 1990 BA Honours: Painting and Drawing, Glasgow School of Art

1997 Commissioned by BBC Exhibition at: Gagliardi Gallery, London 1996 Shortlisted for: Provost Award at Kelvingrove Art Galleries &Museums

LOST LIVES//SPLIT PERSONALITIES

The images contained within this literature are an artistic representation of the collection. To best experience our art, we recommend you contact your local gallery to arrange a viewing. ©Washington Green 2020. The content of this brochure is subject to copyright and no part can be reproduced without prior permission.

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