This work from 1962 is a recreation of a children’s toy shop. Blake constructed the piece partly as a work of art and partly to solve the problem of where to store his collection of toys and related ephemera. In this sense, it is a work of autobiography, with the highly personal selection of toys serving to illustrate his interests in painting, illusionism and visual iconography.
The Toy Shop, 1962
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.