It has often been said that British Pop artists are massively undervalued compared to their American colleagues, historically this has certainly been true for Sir Peter Blake. However, it seems that collectors are at last waking up to the importance of the British Pop art movement. In recent times there has been a huge disproportion in prices achieved by Blake in comparison with Andy Warhol for example, encouraging collectors to buy up British Pop Art at an ‘affordable’ price. This resurgence of interest has been gathering momentum over the last few years and such activity is gradually inflating prices. It is therefore perfectly sensible to expect equality in market value as this activity increases. It would certainly appear that collectors are finally realising the investment potential of British Pop Art.
Sir Peter Blake remains at the forefront of media attention with his recent transformation of the Mersey ferry and BBC Four’s excellent Pop Art series. His prints and paintings are still much in demand and only this summer Jinty Stephenson, who was three years below Sir Peter at art school, put her much loved painting ‘Boys with New Ties’ by Sir Peter Blake up for sale for an estimated £350,000. As a junior dress designer, she spotted it in his studio but could not afford to pay the £30 outright and agreed to sub him £3 in the pub every Saturday. The sum, he told her, “kept him in food for the week”, and Mrs Stephenson hung the painting in pride of place above the mantelpiece in her Bayswater flat. More than half a century later, after what she calls “the best investment she ever made”, she was hoping it would fetch more than 10,000 times its original price. The painting, completed toward the end of Sir Peter’s studies at the Royal College of Art, shows a trio of young friends sporting hand-decorated ties, copied from the artist’s own choice of neckwear.
Sir Peter Blake’s work is available at Wetpaint Online.