A giant mural of Charles Rennie Mackintosh has been unveiled in the city centre to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the famous architect, designer and artist.
The striking piece of street art was commissioned by Radisson RED and has been designed and created by Art Pistol Projects and well-known Glasgow street artist Rogue-one as a gift to the city. It is painted on a 60ft by 40ft wall overlooking the Clutha bar and features a portrait of Mackintosh looking through a stained-glass window in his famous art deco style design.
Born at 70 Parson Street, Townhead, Glasgow in 1868, Mackintosh became one of the 20th century’s most influential creative figures. His work, alongside that of his wife Margaret Macdonald, was pivotal to the development of European design movements such as Art Nouveau and Secessionism. One of his most famous architectural projects was the Glasgow School of Art, widely considered to be the first original example of Art Nouveau architecture in the UK.
Michael Weston, Curator at Radisson RED said: “Working closely with talents like Rogue-one and Art Pistol Projects has been an absolute pleasure. You can see from the level of detail how much hard work has gone into creating this new piece of street art – it’s incredible!
“After opening our doors in April, we wanted to give something that showed our commitment to the local art scene as well as the city of Glasgow itself. It was important to us that the mural represented a key piece of Glasgow’s history, so commissioning a mural of one of the city’s most iconic artists, Charles Rennie Mackintosh was perfect. It is a fitting tribute to one of Glasgow’s greatest talents in his 150th anniversary year – and I’d encourage everyone to come see it!”
As part of the project, Radisson RED has donated £1,000 to The Clutha Trust, the charity that was set up after ten people died when a police helicopter crashed into the roof of the Glasgow pub on 29 November 2013.
Alan Crossan, owner of the Clutha bar said: “This mural is a fantastic piece of artwork and a fantastic donation to the Clutha Trust.”
Speaking at the unveiling Ali Smith, founder of Art Pistol Projects said: “What a superb project to run, from the small teaser mural pieces to the unveiling of this standout mural. Mackintosh is a bit of a global superstar so we had to get this one right. Stepping away from the wall now it really feels like a special one, a just portrayal of such an iconic and well-loved figure. Everyone that’s been involved deserves a big thanks.”
As one of the most famous and talented street artists in Europe, Rogue-one is known for his photorealistic style and is behind a number of iconic artworks in Glasgow, including Mitchell Street’s floating taxi.
Bobby McNamara, AKA Rogue-one, said: “From the original design sketch to the completion of the mural, it’s been hard work but of course great fun. Using scaffolding to access the wall was awkward at times as it’s hard to see what you’re doing but I pushed on utilising my skills and experience. In the end I think I achieved something special!”
Director of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society, Stuart Robertson, commented: “I think Art Pistol Projects and Rogue-one have captured Mackintosh perfectly, the portrait looks so realistic, it really is remarkable! This project is a wonderful tribute to Charles Rennie Mackintosh in his 150th anniversary year. I am so pleased that the city of Glasgow now has a lasting piece of street art to commemorate him.”
The 174-room Radisson RED Glasgow opened on 30th April in Finnieston.