Scottish artist Stuart regularly hits the headlines with his Pop Art paintings. Fusing cartoons with themes of idealism and consumerism, his multilayered artworks blend the past with the present through layers of figurative imagery, text and symbols. His release, Revelations: A Portrait of Magic, depicts the central characters of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series.
Stuart's spectral style has been described as ‘supernatural realism’ by the BBC and Radio 2 art critic Estelle Lovatt, who also praised its 4D aesthetic, adding that he has 'one of the most creative minds in art today'. Using subtle tones of paint, he creates the illusion of transparency. The overall effect is similar to looking through a glass bottle, distorting the image and presenting a different version of the same subject. In turn, a far-fetched reality is created, highlighting the unrealistic expectations of today’s society.
Previously commissioned by Paul McCartney, Stuart has worked with brands including the BBC, McVitie's, Persil, Renault and Virgin. As the current artist-in-residence at the Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel and a former artist-in-residence at The Savoy in London, Stuart has also enjoyed successful exhibitions and commissions in New York, Italy and Hong Kong.
He is an admirer of Old Masters such as Caravaggio and Hieronymus Bosch, but is particularly inspired by the leading founder of the Pop Art movement, Andy Warhol, explaining: “Warhol’s views on mass consumerism and the way he translated these into his art is something I really relate to. I hope my art does something similar and stands the test of time.”
Past collections include A Time For Reflection: The Savoy Suite, which featured in the ITV documentary The Savoy in 2020. Offering a unique insight into the hotel's patrons - including Alfred Hitchcock, Marilyn Monroe and Charlie Chaplin - the pieces take viewers on a tour behind its doors and into the lives of Hollywood's great. This popular release was followed by Lost Lives//Split Personalities, which depicts some of history's most famous musicians and includes a virtual exhibition.
Inspired by J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels, his new Revelations: A Portrait of Magic collection has captured best-loved (and feared) characters including Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Albus Dumbledore, Draco Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange. The release runs alongside an exclusive exhibition at our gallery in Birmingham's International Convention Centre, which will be on until Saturday 23rd October.
Stuart says: “The art of illusion and magic reveals itself through the unified bond of the three central characters. As we continue to work in unison, we open the doors to an unimagined future, turning the ordinary into the extraordinary. A new era lies ahead, as yet unrecognised but already awaiting our arrival.”
Like an historian, Stuart delves into the past to bring a startling authenticity to his artworks. For his Hollywood-inspired A Time For Reflection: The Savoy Suite collection, he stayed in the hallowed rooms of the Savoy hotel in London, which has housed everyone from the legendary American composer George Gershwin to the former British prime minister Winston Churchill. His Lost Lives//Split Personalities collection saw him explore the stage personas of history's most famous musicians, including Sid Vicious, Jimi Hendrix and Elvis Presley. Stuart says: "It’s almost like a visual arts version of a time capsule, preserving moments to be enjoyed long after we’re all gone."
Ironically fitting for his Revelations: A Portrait of Magic collection, Stuart's art studio is inside a beautiful riverside castle in Callander, Scotland. Situated in the attic, this state-of-the-art space has skylight windows to provide plenty of natural light. His original artworks - often mistakenly believed to be computer-generated - are painted in oils by hand, with the sharp lines and illusion of transparency heightened by a colourist's touch. They are then photographed, scanned and digitally manipulated before Stuart uses this new artwork as a remastered base for the final kaleidoscopic layer.
The BBC and Radio 2 art critic Estelle Lovatt has praised the 'supernatural realism' of Stuart's work, adding: "McAlpine Miller has one of the most creative minds in art today, and he’s established a process that follows no Masters. Looking at his canvas is like watching a video game featuring Peter Max scuffling with Basquiat and Keith Haring scrapping with Ed Ruscha."
Speaking on his own creative process, Stuart says: “It’s always important to keep reimagining your ideas and learning from every piece that you paint. Painting is disconcerting, in some respects: it’s almost like an apocalypse has happened, and the character doesn’t know why they’re there. It’s an amalgamation of stories reinvented for a new audience.”
If you like reading about our artists' studios, don't miss our regular Studio Sessions feature in Fine Art Collector magazine. Catch up on previous issues here.
Marrying an homage to the musical greats who’ve inspired him throughout his career with a deeper exploration of the people behind their performer personas, Stuart McAlpine Miller has produced a deeply complex body of work, imbued with symbolism.
If there's one hotel that sums up the timeless glamour of London, it's The Savoy. Its rich history and celebrity guests are immortalised in Stuart McAlpine Miller's new collection.
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