Sir Peter Thomas Blake (born June 25th 1932) is an English pop artist, best known for his design of the sleeve for The beatle’s album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
It featured a colourful collage of life-sized cardboard models of famous people on the front of the album cover and lyrics printed on the back cover, the first time this had been done on an English pop LP. The Beatles themselves, in the guise of the Sgt. Pepper band, were dressed in eye-catching custom-made military-style outfits made of satin dyed in day-glo colours.
According to Blake, the original concept was to create a scene that showed the Sgt. Pepper band performing in a park; this gradually evolved into its final form, which shows The Beatles, as the Sgt. Pepper band, surrounded by a large group of their heroes, rendered as lifesized cut-out figures. Also included were wax-work figures of The Beatles as they appeared in the early '60s.
The wax figures appear to be looking down on the word "Beatles" spelled out in flowers as if it were a grave, and it has been speculated that this symbolises that the innocent mop-tops of yesteryear were now dead and gone. At their feet were several affectations from The Beatles' homes including small statues belonging to Lennon and Harrison, a small portable TV set and a trophy. A young delivery boy who provided the flowers for the photo session was allowed to contribute a guitar made of yellow hyacinths. Although it has long been rumoured that some of the plants in the arrangement were cannabis plants, this is untrue. Also included is a doll wearing a sweater in homage to the Rolling Stones
During the late1950’s, Blake became one of the best known British pop artists. His paintings from this time often included collaged elements or references to the work of other artists.
On the Balcony (1955-57) shows Edouard Manet’s's The Balcony being held by a boy on the left of the composition.
And The First Real Target (1961) is a standard archery target with the title written across the top as a play on the paintings of targets by Kenneth Noland and Jasper Johns.
Blake also designed several other notable album sleeves, such as the Band Aid single, “Do they know its christmas?” (1984), Paul Weller’s Stanley Road (1995) and Oasis’ greatest hits album Stop the Clocks (2006).