Sir Peter Blake & Friends ”“ Exhibition now on…

Sir Peter Blake, now a British pop art legend, and creator of The Beatles ”˜Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ album cover is the subject of an exhibition at Dee Fine Arts, Heswall, Wirral.

During the late 1950s, Blake became one of the best known British pop artists. His paintings from this time included imagery from advertisements, music hall entertainment, and wrestlers, often including collaged elements. Blake was included in group exhibitions at the ICA and had his first solo exhibition in 1960. It was with the ‘Young Contemporaries’ exhibition of 1961 where he was exhibited alongside David Hockney and that he was first identified with the emerging British Pop Art movement. Blake won the (1961) John Moores junior award for his work Self Portrait with Badges. He first came to wider public attention when, he was featured in Ken Russell’s Monitor film on pop art, Pop Goes the Easel, which was broadcast on by the BBC in 1962.

From 1963 Blake was represented by Robert Fraser which placed him at the centre of swinging London and brought him into contact with leading figures of popular culture.
Blake was commissioned to create the cover for Sergeant Pepper, which was released in 1967 ”“ Blake was paid just £200, in a full and final payment deal.

More recently, Blake has created Artist’s editions for the opening of the Pallant House Gallery which houses collections that include some of his most famous paintings. These works are homages to his earlier work on the Stanley Road album cover and Babe Rainbow prints. He also designed a series of deck chairs.

In 2006, Blake designed the cover for Oasis greatest hits album ‘Stop the Clocks’. According to Blake, he chose all of the objects in the picture at random, but the sleeves of ‘Sgt. Pepper’s’ and ‘Definitely Maybe’ were in the back of his mind. He claims, “It’s using the mystery of Definitely Maybe and running away with it.”

Familiar cultural icons which can be seen on the cover include Dorothy from Wizard of Oz, Charles Manson (replacing the original image of Marilyn Monroe, which could not be used for legal reasons) and the seven dwarfs from Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs.
Blake created an updated version of Sgt. Pepper – with famous figures from Liverpool history – as part of the successful campaign for Liverpool to become European Capital of Culture 2008, and is creating a series of prints to celebrate Liverpool’s status. In 2008, Blake painted a pig for the public art event King Bladud’s Pigs In Bath in the English city of Bath.
In 2010 Blake being an avid fan of the team, designed an exclusive collage for Chelsea Football Club for the 2010 season.

Chelsea FC collage

The exhibition also features photographs from Mike McCartney, Brbara Rae, Jurgen Gorg and Beryl Cook

October 1st – November 19th 2011

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Phil Newall is 47, from The Wirral - he earns his living not writing about music nor playing music...though sorely wishes he could. He was fortunate enough to see many of the first generation punk bands when they played the U18's matinee shows at Eric's, Liverpool. As an attendee at Eric's he was exposed to punk rock, dub reggae, art rock, and all manner of weirdness; as a customer at Probe Records he was variously served and scowled at by Pete Wylie and Pete Burns - he has written for Record Collector, Whisperin & Hollerin, and Spiral Scratch and wanted to write a book detailing the Liverpool punk scene; however with 'Head-On' Julian Cope beat him to it...and frankly did a much better job.

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