Boy Eating a Hot Dog

1960

Blake, Peter
Peter Blake is often cited as a founding figure of the British pop art movement and is noted for his brightly painted collage constructions featuring icons of popular culture past and present. Despite this, Blake has always considered his core practice to be that of figurative painting. He studied painting at the Royal College of Art (1953–56), making a number of oil paintings of anonymous children surrounded by their favourite things; these works act as bittersweet revisions of Blake’s own troubled childhood during the war. Boy Eating Hot Dog indicates a new direction and points towards his mature style. By 1965 Blake had developed an approach to portraiture that involved working from photographs from a range of sources, particularly magazines. The subject of the hot dog was most likely influenced by Blake’s first trip to the US in 1963 during which he made a series of sketches, including of fast-food and drive-in restaurants. The choice of acrylic is also significant – acrylic paint had only just been invented and Blake enjoyed its crisp clarity. Despite an overall sense of detail in Blake’s portraiture, unfinished areas are common, with blurring around one eye a regular trope – this Blake considers a subconscious response to his own shyness and to a facial injury he sustained in a childhood cycling accident.
  • Artwork Details: 36.5 x 40.7cm
  • Edition:
  • Material description: acrylic on board
  • Credit line: © Peter Blake/DACS
  • Theme: Portrait
  • Medium: Painting
  • Accession number: AC 817

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The Arts Council Collection is the UK's most widely seen collection of modern and contemporary art.

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