• Nikki

The artist in residence

Our very own artist, Stuart McAlpine Miller (who is only occasionally in residence;) unique style uses subtle and contrasting tones of paint to create the illusion of transparencies within his works. Playing with the notion of depth in his subject matter, he often uses an overlapping background theme of cartoon characters or comic superheroes, the foreground dominated by a host of exotic and sultry models emerging and then blurring and fading back into it, illustrating the shallow nature and idealism of these celebrated objects. Behind the striking, rich colour and superficial façade and gloss of Miller’s work however, there is a depth and intelligence. Having been immersed in the art world for over twenty years, he has garnered critical acclaim, cited by art critics as "changing the course of art history" and having had his influence and appeal likened to Picasso, McAlpine Miller has been catapulted to the forefront of the contemporary art scene, continuing to create new works and attracting the attention of galleries and collectors across the world. An admirer of traditional Old Masters such as Caravaggio and Bosch, he nevertheless says he is most influenced by Andy Warhol - following the cult painters ethos that art is ultimately ‘a throw away thing that has value’. We have carried the ethos of McAlpine Miller' art works - a career spanning 20 years, with exhibitions in London, Hong Kong, New York and Glasgow; into the concept behind The Gart. Creating an entertaining space which combines contemporary luxury; throw away nights (definition being to act in a foolish and squandering manner;) alongside traditional Scottish hospitality.

In 2012 McAlpine Miller received an invitation from The Savoy Hotel in London to create a series of paintings. Following an impressive refurbishment, chance comments made by the late great AA Gill - prominent restaurant critic and travel writer – during a visit to dine there, prompted the management team at The Savoy to consider the only element that they had yet to address; the artwork hanging within the iconic atrium. Hence McAlpine Miller was commissioned as the artist in residence, and one of the most momentous collaborations in contemporary British art was born.

As the Savoy’s artist-in-residence McAlpine Miller fully immersed himself in the rich history of The Savoy spending time looking through the hotel archives and also in the hotel itself. Elements of The Savoy, both past and present, can be seen in the layers of these intricately painted works such as the original cover of The Savoy Cocktail Book, the hotel guestcards, the reopening date of 10.10.10 and interiors of the hotel.

“It’s almost like a visual arts version of a time capsule, preserving moments to be enjoyed long after we’re all gone.” Stuart McAlpine Miller

Since opening in 1889, The Savoy has played host to a galaxy of stars from stage and screen including Katharine Hepburn, Charlie Chaplin and Marlene Dietrich. These guests form the inspiration for A Time For Reflection. This collection has its permanent residence within the iconic Thames Foyer. It is one of the most popular parts of The Savoy and is where guests enjoy the hotel’s award-winning afternoon tea. The collection continues the long association The Savoy has enjoyed with artists from Whistler sketching the scaffolding as the hotel was under construction to Monet staying in the early 20th century and painting some of his famous views of the Thames.

“Selecting an artist to follow in the footsteps of Monet, Picasso and Whistler was an immense challenge as was choosing the appropriate subjects for the artworks,” comments Kiaran MacDonald, Managing Director of The Savoy. “But in the end we only had to look to the rich history of The Savoy which continually inspires and excites everyone who both visits and works at the hotel. We are incredibly proud of this collection of paintings by McAlpine Miller. They are now themselves a chapter in The Savoy’s story and we are sure they will delight guests for years to come.” Kieran MacDonald, Managing Director, The Savoy

The collection can also be viewed in The Gart's dramatic chandelier filled dining room. Come join us for a night of old world grandeur, meets new world styling. A Time For Reflection is now available as Limited Editions. You are welcome to email your interest nikki@mcalpinemiller.co.uk Nikki x

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