Born in 1932 in Dartford, Kent. Peter Blake studied at the Gravesend Technical College school of art between 1949 and 1951 before going to the Royal College of Art after an intermittent period of national Service. Graduating in 1956, Blake won the Leverhulme Research Award allowing him to travel and study folk art across Europe.
Upon his return, Blake won the Jon Moores junior award for his Self Portrait with Badges, in 1961, and afterwards exhibited with artists including David Hockney at the ‘Young Contemporaries’ exhibition. He had his first solo exhibition at the Portal Gallery the following year, while also being featured in Ken Russell’s BBC film on pop art Pop Goes the Easel.
Blake achieved widespread attention through co-creating with his wife the album cover to The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967, which he deemed ‘the visual equivalent of pop music’. Blake’s impact on pop music, was developed through his design of the cover of the Band Aid single ‘Do They Know it’s Christmas?’ and the design of the 2012 Brit Award Statuette.
The National Gallery held at retrospective of his work in 1996 called Now We Are 64 and likewise did the Tate Liverpool in 2007. In 2015, Blake was commissioned by the Liverpool Biennial to convert a Mersey Ferry into a ‘dazzle ship’ in commemoration of the First World War and produced a portrait of the Queen for her Diamond Jubilee.
In 1981, Blake was elected member of the Royal Academy and two years later was given a CBE, followed by a Knighthood in 2002 while also being named the Third Associate Artist of the National Gallery in 1994. Stylistically, Blake’s pop art was influenced by the post-war optimism of the 1960s and the proliferation of advertising and the media and its portrayal in popular culture.
Tulip by Peter Blake forms part of the Turkish Tulips Portfolio which is currently available here.