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’
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