Blake began using images of musicians in his work from the 1950s onwards. This print from 1964 was produced for the Institute of Contemporary Arts as part of an initiative to encourage artists to explore silkscreen techniques. It demonstrates Blake’s interest in typography, composition, and colour. The image of the Beach Boys was taken from a press photograph.
Beach Boys, 1964
One of the leading figures in British pop art, Peter Blake is known for his urban realist subjects. Born in Dartford in 1932, he moved to London to study at the Royal College of Art in 1956. Remaining in the city for more than a decade, Blake was at the cultural centre of vibrant 1960s London. His work fuses high art and popular culture, referencing historical artworks, weekly magazines, children’s stories, movie stars and musicians. His output is famously broad ranging and includes painting, graphic design, collage, book illustration, sculpture and printing. He was the subject of a retrospective exhibition at Tate Britain in 1983.