New York's firefighters are renowned across the world for their valor, dedication and sacrifice. Now, they have inspired the acclaimed UK artist Alexander Millar to create a new body of work that honors the city's 'Bravest' and celebrates the qualities that make them some of the most extraordinary working people on the planet.
Alexander Millar, known for his striking depictions of the working man of industrial England and Scotland, has been invited to exhibit a collection of original oil paintings depicting firefighters of New York.
"I've long wanted to paint a collection dedicated to the firefighters of New York, partly because I have a deep affection for the city having visited many times to participate in Tartan Week celebrations, and partly because my work is inspired by the working man (in which I also include women) of industry, past and present. Until now, the working men and women of my pieces have very much been of the late 19th and early 20th century. With this new collection, I was very keen to look at the late 20th and 21st century, and recognise the more modern everyday heroes working to keep our cities and societies safe."
Having exhibited at the Great North Museum (Newcastle upon Tyne, England) in 2011, the Magna museum of industrial heritage (Sheffield, England) in 2012 and at Scotland Street School Museum (Glasgow, Scotland) in 2015 this is the very first time the artist known as a contemporary impressionist will exhibit in a museum outside of the UK, having been released from a contract which had prohibited Millar from sharing his work globally.
"I've been lucky enough to talk to some incredible firefighters and community leaders from New York who have given me great context and inspiration for the collection here, there are a few tributes to certain people - you'll have to wait and see who - as well as honoring the black firefighters of the New York Fire Department through a partnership with the Vulcan Society who have graciously shared their time, stories and memories with me."
Everyday Heroes • NYC at NYC Fire Museum opens on 3rd April, find out more here.