Sgt Pepper Artist Blake Wants More Art Funds

Lucy Cotter, Arts And Entertainment Correspondent
Sgt Pepper Artist Blake Wants More Art Funds

Sir Peter Blake, the artist often referred to as the Godfather of Pop, believes too much money was spent on the Olympics this summer and the money should have gone to art, community places and theatre groups.

"I got very grumpy before the Olympics," said the man behind the artwork for The Beatles' album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

"I felt that much money shouldn't be spent on something that happened in just two weeks."

Talking at the launch of his latest retrospective exhibition in London, he told Sky News culture is not being taken seriously enough in the UK.

"If you didn't have painting and music and theatre and ballet and film you've got banks and what's a bank? Where you go and get your money to live with," he said.

"It's the process of living and then there's culture and culture is incredibly important and at the moment it's not being taken seriously enough."

Sir Peter's latest show Rock, Paper, Scissors at the Waddington Custot Galleries in London, is his first major retrospective since 2007 and features pieces from the past 60 years.

The exhibition is split into three sections - sculpture, works on paper and collage.

In the sculpture section popular characters from his earlier works reappear, including Snow White who is joined by 30 dwarves in one of the most eye-catching pieces.

The early works on paper in the exhibition date back to 1948 and are shown alongside Blake's most recent watercolour, Portrait Of Queen Elizabeth II.

Ten new London collages form the Scissors component of the exhibition, creating fantastical scenes around London landmarks.

There is a combination of old and new work included, and Sir Peter told Sky News there are many parallels between his early work and what he is doing now.

"In many ways my work hasn't changed," he said.

Sir Peter's artwork for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is his arguably his most famous. 

It recently sold at auction for just over £55,000 - back in the 1960s Sir Peter earned a flat fee of just £200.