Peter Blake
Self-Portrait with Badges 1961

Artwork details

Peter Blake born 1932
Self-Portrait with Badges
Date 1961
Medium Oil paint on board
Dimensions Support: 1743 x 1219 mm
frame: 1792 x 1265 x 70 mm
Acquisition Presented by the Moores Family Charitable Foundation to celebrate the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition 1979
On display at Tate Britain
Room: 1960

Display caption

Blake’s self-portrait shows his equal respect for historical tradition and modern popular culture. He may have based this image on Thomas Gainsborough’s famous portrait The Blue Boy (illustrated to the left). But Blake’s blue fabric is not silk but denim – a material associated at the time with American youth culture.

Blake’s fascination with American popular culture is further emphasised by his baseball boots and badges, and the magazine dedicated to Elvis Presley, who had just become well known in Britain. Blake uses these objects like a traditional portrait painter, to suggest his interests or achievements.

August 2004

About this artwork