I’ve always been a Peter Blake fan. As an art student I used to closely study the watercolour technique he used in his portraits, trying but failing miserably to replicate his style. However Sir Peter Blake’s most famous work isn’t a watercolour but a collage – The Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band cover he created for the Beatles album in 1967. It’s become an iconic piece of work that many have parodied.
I remember the 2009 Podge Lunch
at the Arts Club in Dover Street, that coincided with Lynda Relph-Knight’s 25th anniversary as editor of Design Week – the occasion marked by a ‘design world’ version of the Sgt Peppers cover, and the presence of the great man himself.
Sir Peter himself admits to being ‘vaguely depressed’ for being so well known for this one piece of work when he’s done so many other things. So I was a little suprised to hear that as he approaches his 80th birthday, Sir Peter Blake has created a new version. 45 years after his original was created, techniques have changed – what originaly must have been a labour-intensive reserching, cutting out, hand tinting and glueing exercise, is now a relitively simple thing to execute with Photoshop. However his new version looks incredibly sterile and has none of the vitality of the original. Perhaps it echoes how Sir Peter himself feels in his 80th year.