Artist Peter Blake cowed into silence

A

Anonymous

Guest
This is what was said:

Stephen Sackur:
Reason I'm asking you about your take on culture today is that you said something that really struck me not long ago, and I wondered whether it's a fairly bleak thing for you to say, 'cos you said, 'I'm not appropriate any more. To be an artist at this point', you said, and I guess you mean age 90 in 2022, 'Well, some of the worst things you could be', you went on, 'are male, white and hetersosexual. Which means I'm in a difficult place, which is fine, I accept it'. Do you feel alienated from culture today?

Peter Blake:
I don't feel alientated from it, but it's different. Things have changed. I don't know what it would be like to be a young white male heterosexual artist now coming out of art school, but I think they would have a rougher time than, I don't want to go, I don't want to say if there's an opposite to that, I don't think there is. Whatever's happened, whatever's happening is happening anyway, so...

Stephen Sackur:
Did you think some of the things you have painted, some of the subjects you've taken on, some of the sort of feeling and imagery you've used, would it be difficult to do that today?

Peter Blake:
It would, yes. I mean certainly some of the early pictures of girls, it wouldn't be appropriate to do them today. I mean there was a culture when some of those pictures were painted in the fifties. The idea of a pin-up girl was acceptable, it was used all the time. The pictures of pretty women were, it was fine to use it. It isn't now. It isn't fine to us a picture of a pretty woman simply because she's pretty. The world has changed. The rules are different. What's acceptable is not the same.

Stephen Sackur:
You seem to be saying, you accept it, you don't want to fight it.

Peter Blake:
I don't want to fight it. Well, I talk to myself about it, yeah. I mean, some of it I think is awful and some of it I think, I dislike very much. But I don't want to fight it, I don't want to discuss it really. And I know if I did I would be in instant trouble. That would be unfair you know, I would be attacked instantly. Even if I said the odd word, I would be attacked probably.
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A

Anonymous

Guest
Call the waaaaaaaaaambulance. Rich, famous, white, heterosexual male feels victimized!

Also, he's cowed into not speaking openly because the twatterverse, the minority on a platform of bilge, garners support from bored twats that didn't even know they wanted to support bollocks until they picked up their phones. The small minded f***s that they are.
 

Fake C

Measured, Found Wanting
Of course you think there is only one point, and I am not surprised you think it has something to do with “trans.”:

Trans was a quirky but interesting Neil Young record. I think it came out about 1986. Check out Computer Age, and listen to the Sonic Youth cover as well. It’s a much better way to spend your time.

Are you the same anonymous that always posts about overhyped schlockmeister JK Rowlings?
 

rifke

26% descended from the great teutonic tribes
Also, he's cowed into not speaking openly because the twatterverse, the minority on a platform of bilge, garners support from bored twats that didn't even know they wanted to support bollocks until they picked up their phones. The small minded f***s that they are.
dave wins big at intersectional bingo, hence his apathy at an artist being silence. it's the same old story though. the people in this day and age who want to silence the artists--who are by nature seekers of truth--are the same people who try to silence the seekers of truth throughout history. every age has them. philistines they are called.
 

Fake C

Measured, Found Wanting
“I made a fortune with art that I would have to defend now. I am a victim!”

I love how anonymous drags trans into it even though it’s never mentioned.
Peter Blake must be really stupid not to know he could still probably paint the same things he always did but a changing world might interpret them differently.

And the whole point of this seems to be that anonymous is upset that things change. We’re supposed to share in this borrowed sense of victimization. Is it that dangerous to anonymous that someone may express an opinion that may conflict with the one they are too inarticulate to even express?

Is the idea that the assumed default setting of straight white males as artists is no longer carved in stone and that “others” may also have a chance at finding a voice so upsetting that we’re meant to be afraid?
 

Skylarker

Go Easy On The Killer
Call the waaaaaaaaaambulance. Rich, famous, white, heterosexual male feels victimized!
I don't necessarily get the impression he feels victimized. I think he's actually keeping a pretty rational perspective on things. I think it's the journalist that's pushing for some contentious blurb, not Blake himself whining. He's just saying things have changed, and that it's pointless to make a big stink about it because...well it could just be because he's f***ing 90. Or it could be because he knows that even if he offers an opinion in the most measured, non confrontational way, the new norms dictate that he'll be ripped a new asshole as soon as the syllables leave his lips. So he probably figures the heck with it.

I get what he's saying about the pretty girls thing. That now for some reason it's seen as objectification...like as though there just couldn't possibly be any artistic or non prurient celebratory reason to paint a beautiful woman.

That is, I agree with him, sad and odd. But we are also living in an age of "you're beautiful how you are, be a big fat unhealthy gross Georgie Girl pig, it's fine."

So.

And yet I see all these Instagram and TikTok reels that literally consist of nothing but these little skinny-minnie dilettante thots, mincing for the camera, lip syncing to art they didn't make, parading around in their granny-chic thrift store clothes, "look at me look at me..." And I'm talking about women who one could reasonably assume traffic in progressive, liberal culture and subscribe to the usual correspondent modern views thereof, such as pillorying straight white men for objectifiying women in art. I'm getting off track here but anyway I definitely think there's a societal double standard at play.

Tl;dr: I don't think he's crying victim nor do I think there's any implication he feels cowed into silence. I think he's just saying he's 90 and he's seen the culture change and he doesn't want to get into some big stupid bees' nest-poking debate because who cares anyway. He's picking his battles. No more, no less.
 
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Skylarker

Go Easy On The Killer
“I made a fortune with art that I would have to defend now. I am a victim!”

I love how anonymous drags trans into it even though it’s never mentioned.
Peter Blake must be really stupid not to know he could still probably paint the same things he always did but a changing world might interpret them differently.

And the whole point of this seems to be that anonymous is upset that things change. We’re supposed to share in this borrowed sense of victimization. Is it that dangerous to anonymous that someone may express an opinion that may conflict with the one they are too inarticulate to even express?

Is the idea that the assumed default setting of straight white males as artists is no longer carved in stone and that “others” may also have a chance at finding a voice so upsetting that we’re meant to be afraid?
Yeah I think that the way the article is framed by OP says way more about the poster than the artist. I think that basically the culture is just changing. For better or worse is totally subjective. I agree that it needn't be perceived as inherently threatening to anyone...especially Blake.

There are gonna be cultural adjustments throughout time. Societal norms change, and the reflective culture changes accordingly. I don't see why it's a big deal. I don't think anyone is demonizing straight white men or claiming their art is invalid. It's just that other voices and perspectives are coming to the fore in larger droves now. I don't see how that can be a bad thing unless insecurities are at play.
 

Fake C

Measured, Found Wanting
I don't necessarily get the impression he feels victimized. I think he's actually keeping a pretty rational perspective on things. I think it's the journalist that's pushing for some contentious blurb, not Blake himself whining. He's just saying things have changed, and that it's pointless to make a big stink about it because...well it could just be because he's f***ing 90. Or it could be because he knows that even if he offers an opinion in the most measured, non confrontational way, the new norms dictate that he'll be ripped a new asshole as soon as the syllables leave his lips. So he probably figures the heck with it.

I get what he's saying about the pretty girls thing. That now for some reason it's seen as objectification...like as though there just couldn't possibly be any artistic or non prurient celebratory reason to paint a beautiful woman.

That is, I agree with him, sad and odd. But we are also living in an age of "you're beautiful how you are, be a big fat unhealthy gross Georgie Girl pig, it's fine."

So.

And yet I see all these Instagram and TikTok reels that literally consist of nothing but these little skinny-minnie dilettante thots, mincing for the camera, lip syncing to art they didn't make, parading around in their granny-chic thrift store clothes, "look at me look at me..." And I'm talking about women who one could reasonably assume traffic in progressive, liberal culture and subscribe to the usual correspondent modern views thereof, such as pillorying straight white men for objectifiying women in art. I'm getting off track here but anyway I definitely think there's a societal double standard at play.

Tl;dr: I don't think he's crying victim nor do I think there's any implication he feels cowed into silence. I think he's just saying he's 90 and he's seen the culture change and he doesn't want to get into some big stupid bees' nest-poking debate because who cares anyway. He's picking his battles. No more, no less.
Well I actually agree. He doesn’t say that much and it’s the way he’s being used to make a point that I am reacting to. And then the way the article itself is being used by anonymous who, as is typical with these things, never really says exactly what the issue is.
My entire knowledge of Peter Blake is that he is one of the artists featured on the cover of Face Dances by The Who. I don’t know what he did that the journalist believes would be so controversial now, but let’s see.
Okay, I didn’t know he did the Sgt Pepper cover.
Google image doesn’t bring up anything controversial right away, but his art is incredibly derivative. He’s got stuff that rips off Warhol, Jasper John’s,Robert Indiana but I don’t see anything that seems degrading to women. I thought maybe he did some pinup type art but all the paintings of “women” seem to be little girls. They are not sexualized, though.
I am just going to conclude the whole thing is #fakenews
 

Fake C

Measured, Found Wanting
I really don’t think painting s of beautiful women would be controversial but they would probably be considered commercial art and not fine art. The art world appears to me to be a huge money laundering scheme and within that you can find examples of agendas being pushed. But there is room for so much. I believe that to be a controversial artist someone would have to actually work pretty hard to push buttons.
 

rifke

26% descended from the great teutonic tribes
hey skylarker and dave, which is your guys' favourite art museum?! i like Musee D'orsay, the kunsthalle Wien, and the Albertina!!
 

Skylarker

Go Easy On The Killer
I really don’t think painting s of beautiful women would be controversial but they would probably be considered commercial art and not fine art. The art world appears to me to be a huge money laundering scheme and within that you can find examples of agendas being pushed. But there is room for so much. I believe that to be a controversial artist someone would have to actually work pretty hard to push buttons.
Agreed 100 percent, with the caveat that someone or some faction will always find something offensive about anything. But I don't see that precluding anything he's done or anything of that ilk. And because, as you noted, he is generally understood through the pop-art lens, there's going to be that "frivolous" connotation put on his work because it is born of commercialism, which I think reduces the possibility of contention from "serious" critics or even the public in general. Now personally I don't think that makes it frivolous in and of itself but I think Warhol flipped that whole script irrevocably anyway. Also speaking of which that docuseries on Warhol's diaries on Netflix is inf***ingcredible btw.
 

rifke

26% descended from the great teutonic tribes
Listening to philistines discussing art is the WORST . Now we just need Carlisle baz to chip in with his two cents.
 

Fake C

Measured, Found Wanting
I think Blake did some interesting work but the way the style shows strong influences from more successful artists makes it easy to see why, as popular as he may be, he is not top tier.
However, if you consider iconic commercial work the Sgt Pepper cover is as good as it gets. Compare to Warhol’s Velvet Underground or Rolling Stones covers , and I do think they are maybe a little stronger graphically but Sgt Pepper is iconic and very influential.
 
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