May 10th, 2017
Sir Peter Blake was born in 1932 in Dartford, Kent and attended Gravesend School of Art before earning a place at the prestigious Royal College of Art London in 1956. His love of art flourished as he built up a respectable portfolio of work through extensive travels across Europe and beyond. Blake came to the public’s attention and the centre of the London Art scene with his first solo exhibition in the 1960’s. His work has featured icons of popular culture from around the world and is appreciated globally. Sir Peter Blake is also widely known as the ‘Godfather of British Pop Art’ and has been commissioned by Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group for the latest project in London. The plan is to create a collage which will cover Mandarin Oriental London, Hyde Park’s iconic façade during part of the hotel’s comprehensive phased renovation. The immense collage entitled Our Fans, has been created to provide an eye-catching diversion along Knightsbridge. Being the largest artwork Sir Peter Blake has ever created, Our Fans is actually a huge collage of 100 prominent faces. Stars like Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, Joanna Lumley or Jenny Packham can be admired by every passing person. All are regular guests at Mandarin Oriental London, Hyde Park as well as fans of the Group’s hotels around the world.
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has embarked on a comprehensive multi million-pound restoration of its European flagship Mandarin Oriental London, Hyde Park. Designed to confirm this historic hotel’s position as one of the best in the world, the hotel remains open throughout the renovation which will be completed in Spring 2018. International designer, Joyce Wang, has been commissioned to oversee the overall design concept. She inspired from the hotel’s royal heritage and peaceful park side location, as well as the glamour of the early 20th century’s Golden Age of travel.
Our Fans’ by Sir Peter Blake takes up residence on Mandarin Oriental London, Hyde Park’s façade during part of the extensive renovation of this historic hotel. “Some of my first works were collages of crowds of people; this piece is in the spirit of The Beatles 1967– Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album,” said Sir Peter Blake.
It is therefore entirely apt that Sir Paul McCartney and fellow Beatles’ band mate Ringo Starr should feature in the poster, during the 50th anniversary of the album. The collage has become Blake’s trademark format and one that he has returned to time and again over the years. “This artwork was very different to my usual way of working”, he said. “A collage is very time consuming and laborious, but this was more a matter of arranging the figures and making them work together. Making sure no one had a cut-off shoulder or missing legs – that’s the skill of it. It was an amazing project to work on. Hopefully, people passing by will try to spot celebrities they recognize,” he added.
This piece of art is the size of 38 double decker buses at 70.7m wide and 24.88m high. It weighs over 1055kg and has taken over 10 hours to install. Morgan Freeman, Sir Peter Blake, Sir Paul McCartney are over 15 meters tall. All the confetti pieces are made up of small multi-coloured fans.
Displayed prominently on the front of the building, this striking work is a visual treat. “We are delighted to showcase this original piece by such a talented artist in London, the home of our European flagship hotel,” said Jill Kluge, Mandarin Oriental’s Group Director of Brand Communications. “Mandarin Oriental London, Hyde Park is part of the fabric of London life, and this exciting renovation project is designed to confirm it as one of the leading luxury hotels in the world. Sir Peter Blake’s artistic masterpiece not only pays tribute to the city, but also celebrates the Group’s global reach, in a truly original way,” she added.