Happy 80th Peter Blake

Peter Blake, Manhattan Boogie Woogie
Peter Blake, Manhattan Boogie Woogie

25 June marks a very special occasion within the art world. One of its leading figures, Sir Peter Blake, is turning 80. For the past 50 years, Blake has been creating iconic artwork, some of which arguably epitomises particular moments in the recent past.

Graduating from the Royal College of Art in 1956, Blake has never lost his passion for popular icons which resulted in him becoming one of the leading exponents of the Pop Art style His love affair with popular culture can be seen in his Motif series and his long association with the music industry.

To commemorate his 80th birthday he redesigned the unforgettable Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and featured many of the greats of this century. Starring on the new edition are the likes of Amy Winehouse, Damien Hirst, Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and Danny Boyle.

Peter Blake, Gettin In Over My Head
Peter Blake, Gettin In Over My Head

If you have a hunger to see what Blake is all about, head on over to Pallant House Gallery in Chichester for an exhibition focusing on Peter Blake’s interest in pop music. Blake’s fascination with music goes a lot deeper than the iconic album cover for Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, having worked with a number of musicians and groups including The Who, Paul Weller, Eric Clapton and Brian Wilson (in May we released Peter Blake’s Gettin In Over My Head, available exclusively at Monograph). It was recently revealed by The Sunday Times that the hand on Brian Wilson’s shoulder was in fact that of legendary TV host Jonathan Ross. If you look closely you can spot it!

Manhattan Boogie Woogie is a screenprint that we have published with Peter Blake. It is another example of Blake’s fascination with pop music, but it is one that did not make it into the charts.

Manhattan Boogie-Woogie
The final Manhattan Boogie Woogie album cover used by Landscape

The piece was originally commissioned by the band Landscape. Landscape made it to number 5 in the UK charts in 1981 with Einstein a Go-Go, got to number 40 with Norman Bates, but (in cricketing parlance) did not trouble the scorers after their initial fleeting success. But in 1982 the band were not to know that. Flushed with the success of a top 10 hit and a top 20 album, they asked Peter Blake to design the cover for their third album. Unusually the band rejected Blake’s collage, instead opting for something that looks rather…um, 1980s, rather than an iconic collage by one of the leading exponents of that medium.

Landscape’s Manhattan Boogie Woogie was a commercial flop and the group soon disbanded.

Here’s your chance to invest in one of these highly collectable pieces. Click on the image to take you to the web gallery. 

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