Best known for creating the cover to The Beatles album Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band
, Peter Blake is, for me at least, one of the most accessible of the pop artists. He is someone else I found through the Pop Art exhibition back in the nineties at the Tate Modern.
I don’t know if to say that there is something uniquely British about his vision seems too limiting? Because I don’t see it as a limiting thing. His work has character and part of the character has a national flavour. There are not many people as high up the food-chain in the art world that are ploughing the same furrow as Blake and that in itself makes him unique. His uniqueness is obviously not purely derived from this fact but it could be said to amplify it. How many figurative painters that are British can you name from the modern era? Not many I’ll warrant. Shit I could be wrong; could be my skewed view of the art world, but I don’t think so. There is of course Lucien Freud, who is great, and Jenny Saville.
Amidst all the abstracts, and pieces seemingly more concerned with the idea behind them than the end product Blake might have been seen as an oddity. His concerns in his paintings make him relevant though. He has forged connections with more than one musical genre by doing covers for people. He is a great argument against people who say portraiture is dead and done with.