London: Sir Peter Blake has created a new artwork taking inspiration from his famous album cover of The Beatles’ ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ to mark his 80th birthday celebrations. When it first appeared in 1967, the album cover featured the style icons of the day, including Marilyn Monroe, Bob Dylan, Marlon Brando and Karl Marx. The list of today’s heroes, collated by Sir Blake, includes the chefs Delia Smith and Mark Hix, the author JK Rowling and the designer Robin Day.
“I’ve chosen people I admire, great people and some who are dear friends. I had a very long list of people who I wanted to go in but couldn’t fit everyone in. That shows how strong British culture is,” a leading daily has quoted Blake as saying.
“The Sgt Pepper album cover was made by cutting pieces of cardboard and hand–colouring them. This one is computer generated. I often thought that if I did it again it would be very quick on the computer but it was very laborious,” he revealed.
The artwork will go on show at the Vintage Festival at Boughton House in Northamptonshire in July. In the new version Sir Paul McCartney once again features alongside artists, film directors, musicians, writers, film stars and fashion designers, as well as Sir Peter and his family.
“Given that I’ve devoted quite a lot of time to gazing at the original Sgt Pepper album cover, you can perhaps imagine what it means to me to be selected,” Rowling said.
Noel Gallagher, the musician, added: “It’s nice to be recognised by as great an artist as Sir Peter Blake.”