"MM10" Marilyn Monroe Unique Inkjet on Canvass Image with Diamond Dust by Sir Peter Blake, England, 2010
Sir Peter Thomas Blake, CBE, RDI, (b. 25 June 1932, Dartford, Kent) is an English pop artist, best known for his design of the Beatles' album sleeve for "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band".
Blake became one of the best known British pop artists during the 1950s. His paintings and works of this period included imagery from subjects as diverse as advertisements, music hall entertainment, and wrestlers and often included elements of collage.
Blake was part of a group exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Arts and by 1960 had his first solo exhibition. It was in 1961, however, where he was exhibited alongside the likes of David Hockney that he was first identified with the British Pop Art movement. In 1961 Blake won the 'John Moores Junior Award' for his work 'Self Portrait with Badges'.
After appearing in Ken Russell's film 'Pop Goes the Easel', shown in 1962, Blake became known to the wider public and became a central figure in London during the Swinging Sixties.
Apart from his iconic pop art over the decades, including the above-mentioned 'Sgt Pepper's' for which Blake received a mere £200 as a one-off fee without any royalties, he has also designed a number of other notable album sleeves such as the 'Do They Know it's Christmas' album for Band Aid (1984) and the Ian Dury (tribute) album 'New Boots and Panties' in 2001. Coincidentally, Blake was Drury's tutor at the Royal College of Art during the mid 1960s.
More recently, Blake has created artist's editions for the Pallant House Gallery opening which houses some of his most famous paintings and in 2006 designed the cover for 'Stop the Clocks', the Oasis greatest hits album. In 2008 he created an updated version of the 'Sgt Pepper's' album sleeve featuring famous Liverpudlians through history as part of the (successful) campaign for Liverpool to be the European Capital of Culture.
In 1981 Blake became a Royal Academician, a CBE in 1983 and in 2002 he received a knighthood for his services to art. In 2011, he was awarded an honorary DMus from the University of Leeds and in July 2011 he received an Honorary Doctor of Art degree from Nottingham Trent University.