Sgt. Pepper Artist Peter Blake Creates Huge Collage

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Peter Blake’s Our Fans collage in London

The British pop artist Sir Peter Blake, best known for co-creating the album cover for The BeatlesSgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band nearly 50 years ago, has unveiled the biggest collage of his career. Measuring approximately 230 x 80 feet, the image covers the front façade of the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park in London and will remain in view until May while the hotel undergoes restoration. The artwork, title “Our Fans,” was commissioned by the hotel’s owners and its design was inspired by the Sgt. Pepper cover.

The collage features 100 people, among them the two surviving Beatles, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney, as well as other celebrities such as actress Helen Mirren.. The piece took Blake 30 hours to produce. He told England’s Evening Standard, “It was an amazing project to work on. Hopefully, people passing by will try to spot celebrities they recognize.”

Blake, who is now 84 years old, became drawn to the emerging pop art genre during the late 1950s. He became well known in the ’60s and his associations with the cream of Swinging London’s movers and shakers eventually led him to the Beatles, who commissioned him to design their 1967 album cover. Blake produced the piece using cut-outs of numerous well-known people and other objects such as flowers. He and his then-wife, the American Jann Haworth, created the album cover for a one-time fee of £200.

Blake went on to create album covers for other rock artists and projects, including the Band Aid charity single “Do They Know it’s Christmas?” in 1984, the Who’s Face Dances, Brian Wilson’s That Lucky Old Sun and Eric Clapton’s 24 Nights. Several years ago, he created an updated version of the Sgt. Pepper cover, using contemporary figures, for a celebration of his own life and work.

Related: Blake also created the artwork for Eric Clapton’s latest album

Watch a video on the making of the Sgt. Pepper’s cover.

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