Peter Blake

Sir Peter Blake (1932-present) lives and works in London, UK, and is a contemporary artist known for his association with the Pop Art movement. He is perhaps best known for creating The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover. We love the way he infuses popular culture into his collage artwork, and demonstrates a fearlessness of bright colour and stylistic changes. 

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Blake’s artistic repertoire is massive; he is a painter, sculptor, graphic artist, and collage artist. Though much of Blake’s work focuses on idolatry and stardom, he has explored various styles and subjects through his long career. In the 1950s he traveled across Europe and studied folk art. Upon returning from his grand tour, Blake evolved from classical naturalistic oil paintings to collages containing movie stars, musicians, and pin up girls. In the late 1970s, the artist was living in Bristol and moved away from his well-known glossy commercial pop art and focused instead on oil paintings containing literary and rural subjects.   

Deemed ‘The Godfather of Pop Art,’ Blake has created a diverse range of collages with various subject matters in popular culture such as film star posters, badges, and postcards. The artist cleverly blends together modernity and our society’s infatuation with celebrity cult status, with nostalgia. After ‘emotionally’ retiring in 1997 at the age of 65 from painting, Blake continues to create art, but no longer cares what the art world at large has to say about it. This ‘late period’ is focused on what he likes at the moment, and can have little relation to his previous signature artwork.

Blake studied at the Gravesend School of Art before attending the Royal College of Art. He has exhibited extensively, including in the UK and New York. He was awarded the title of Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) before receiving a Knighthood in 2002 for his services to the visual arts. In addition to this great honour, he has received the Leverhulme Research Award and the John Moores Junior Award. His artwork has been featured in the collections of the Tate Gallery, the National Museum of Wales, and the Pallant House Gallery, among many others.  

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