2022 marks 30 years of Enter Gallery, and to kick off a year of celebrations we’re honouring one of the artists who has played a key role in our success – The Godfather of Pop Art himself, Sir Peter Blake.
On Friday 25th February, we’re hosting an exclusive Private View at Enter Gallery especially for Peter Blake fans. The private view will showcase a broad and rare selection of Blake’s art, encompassing everything from etchings and watercolours, to collage and lenticulars. If you’ve been waiting for the right moment to add a piece by Peter Blake to your collection, this is the show for you.
A beautiful friendship
‘We owe a lot of our success to our association to Peter Blake,’ says Lawrence Alkin our CEO. ‘He is a great supporter of art galleries, and every event we’ve held with him over the years has been a real pleasure – with him always being friendly, highly-professional and happily throwing himself into anything the gallery team suggest.’
Over the years, Enter Gallery have run multiple events with Blake, including eight dinner events with a Q&A with the artist, a 50-person talk at the screening room at Babington House, and the ‘Art Bus’ – a mobile art education facility featuring a number of Blake’s works that was part of Brighton Fringe back in 2009.
Lawrence Alkin and Peter Blake at his surprise party
‘The most memorable event was the surprise 80th birthday party we threw for Peter 10 years ago. We wanted to honour the milestone, celebrate Peter and thank him for his support of Enter Gallery. We took over Proud Cabaret Brighton and threw him a circus cabaret as we know he’s such a fan of the circus and side-show. We invited 150 of our customers and we all sang him happy birthday. It was a great night!’
A love of Brighton
It seems only fitting that we hold a Brighton event to celebrate Blake given he’s such a fan of our home town. Over the years, he has created work in homage to Brighton, and found artistic inspiration here. Whether that’s from chatting to those from Brighton’s different subcultures, sourcing materials for his found art in Brighton’s antique shops, or creating art with his daughter Rose (whose art we also have at Enter Gallery.)
Blake has also been happy to lend a little of his star power in the name of a good cause. Seven years ago, the artist paid a visit to Middle Street Primary School – a school dear to Enter Gallery’s heart, which we support via events, including our upcoming Sample Sale.
Lindsay Alkin and Peter Blake
Blake met with the nursery children, and did a drawing on the classroom flip-chart depicting his icons – the star, heart, rainbow, and target. The piece is still hanging pride of place in the school. Years later, when Middle Street was facing budget cuts, Blake donated a copy of his Brighton Box Set to the school, which when raffled off, helped to raise much needed funds.
What to expect from the show…
In order to honour his prolific career, the show has been curated to encompass Blake's variety of artistic styles. Here’s a glimpse at some of the most exciting works you'll be able to see for yourself on the 25th…
Blake’s Tattooed People
Heavily-tattooed people are one motif that has been consistent over Blake’s long career. Dating back as far as when he was at art college, Blake has been fascinated by tattoos and side-show culture.
His Tattooed People watercolours, including Tiny Tina the Tattooed Lady and Two Tattooed Ladies, have been some of the most popular and fastest-selling pieces at Enter Gallery.
Under Milk Wood
This highly-collectible collection of six prints marked the completion of one of Blake’s projects that spanned an incredible 30-years. The collection features watercolour and collage illustrations based on Welsh Poet Dylan Thomas’ 1953 play, ‘Under Milk Wood’, and was completed to coincide with the centenary of his birth. This is an extraordinary set, commemorating the remarkable talent of two of Britain’s most revered artists.
Getting’ In Over My Head
Any Blake aficionado will know that his work creating album art is some of his best, having produced 20 album covers over the years, most notably The Beatles’, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Paul Weller’s, Stanley Road.
Named one of the ‘Most Beautiful Album Covers of All Time,’ Blake created Gettin’ In Over My Head for Brian Wilson’s seventh solo album. The piece brings together multiple motifs from Blake’s oeuvre, including cut-out figures, American imagery, and the colours of the rainbow.
Elvis in Paris
There are superstars that Blake returns to time and again in his art, and Elvis is one of his most-loved choices. Elvis in Paris, which is available as a print or a lenticular, is the dream piece for any Blake super fan due to its many nods to Blake's work over the years.
In addition to the rock and roll star, the piece features the city of Paris, circus performers and the blue man commanding a kaleidoscope of butterflies, who also makes an appearance in Another Parade, The London Suite and Vichy The Butterfly Man – an artwork which is also featured in the show.
If you’re in the market for something extraordinarily rare, Blake’s 12-piece 2008 Replay Portfolio could be for you. The collection, which combines his distinctive Pop Art colour palette, interesting typography and geometric patterns, is inspired by Blake’s work from the 1960s.
To spend an evening toasting Peter Blake over a glass or two of bubbly, join us at our private view on Friday 25th February from 6-8pm. RSVP here