British artist lends name and art to hotel bar

Gerald ScarfeLeading artist and caricaturist Gerald Scarfe (pictured) is lending his name and work to the bar at new hotel Rosewood London in Holborn.

The bar at the luxury hotel, which opened in October, has been renamed Scarfes Bar after the cartoonist spent several months there drawing inspiration from the atmosphere and interior design.

The collaboration will also echo the historic murals in Bemelmans Bar in Rosewood London’s legendary sister hotel, The Carlyle, in Manhattan, which were created with artist Ludwig Bemelmans.

Perhaps best known for his work on Pink Floyd’s The Wall, Gerald has also been the political cartoonist for The Sunday Times in the UK and The New Yorker for many years.

While he has also designed the sets for numerous plays and operas around the world, Scarfes Bar is the first bar on which he has collaborated.

Gerald is providing drawings and paintings depicting historical figures and famous faces that will help to recount the colourful history of the UK with his signature wit and satire.

His illustrations will complement the interiors by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio. They will be going up in stages, ready for a final reveal in March 2014.

“I am, of course, tremendously flattered and I reason that if the Prince of Wales can have a pub named after him, why shouldn’t I have a bar?” says Gerald.

“In the past, the work of caricaturists such as Hogarth and Spy has hung on bar walls and, as the atmosphere of this bar is very British, I am keeping up the tradition and caricaturing some of Britain’s famous citizens, fictional and otherwise, past and present, from Winston Churchill to the Rolling Stones and James Bond.

“I will look upon Scarfes Bar as a private art gallery where people will be able to have a drink and relax while they observe my paintings in true comfort.”

Rosewood London_Bar

The bar (pictured) features a roaring fire, cosy velvet armchairs and sofa seating, bookcases filled with over 1,000 antique books hand-picked by a Portobello antique dealer and low-key lighting.

It has live music in the evening and food created under head chef Palash Mitra, previously at The Cinnamon Club in London, and overseen by Bjorn van der Horst, Rosewood London’s director of food, beverage and kitchens.

Scarfes Bar will embrace the concept of New York’s Bemelmans Bar which has a long artistic association with Ludwig Bemelmans who worked for The New Yorker and Vogue and created the classic Madeline children’s books.

Bemelmans’ masterpiece murals, many depicting scenes of Central Park, decorate the walls of the bar, which he created in exchange for accommodation at the hotel for himself and his family.

Headed by bar manager Adam Macdonald, Scarfes Bar specialises in wines, beers and cocktails, including some that are poured from a silver urn that takes centre stage on the long wooden bar.

Gerald Scarfe was born in London. He established himself as a satirical cartoonist, working for Punch magazine and Private Eye during the early 1960s.

He has had many exhibitions worldwide and more than 50 one-man shows. He has designed the sets and costumes for plays, operas and musicals in London, Houston, Los Angeles and Detroit.

His film work includes designing and directing the animation for Pink Floyd’s The Wall and Disney’s Hercules. He has also written and directed many live action and documentary films for BBC and
Channel 4 and has published many books of his work.

Gerald has been a political cartoonist for The Sunday Times for 46 years, and his work regularly appears in many periodicals, including The New Yorker, Vogue and Tatler.

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