Sir Peter Blake is often referred to as the ‘Godfather of British Pop Art’ for his contributions to the movement in the U.K. from the 1950s onwards. Born in 1932 in Dartford, Kent, Blake studied at the Royal College between 1953 and 1956 where he met fellow artists David Hockney, Patrick Caulfield, Allen Jones and R.B. Kitaj. There, Blake began to explore themes and motifs that became central to his work: circus performers, film stars, children’s games, badges and comics.
During his career, Blake has experimented with abstract planes of colour, juxtaposed with images of musicians, actors, and models, including rock ‘n’ roll icons like Elvis Presley. In 1969, Blake left London for the West Country, and six years later co-founded the Brotherhood of Ruralists. Since, Blake has focussed his practice on more traditional painting methods and styles alongside his Pop collages and mixed-media constructions.
Blake was elected Member of the Royal Academy of Arts in 1981, and was awarded a CBE in 1983. In the same year, a major retrospective of his work was held at Tate Gallery, London, which was lauded as one of the most successful exhibitions ever held at the institution for a living artist. He is now an active Royal Academician and was the chief curator of the RA’s 2001 Summer Exhibition, and in 2002 he accepted a knighthood. Blake currently lives and works in London.