Iconic, visionary, changemaker, are the words that have been used to describe Sir Peter Blake and his work. Sir Peter Blake is often referred to as “the godfather of Pop Art.” Born in 1932 in Kent, he came of age at a time when the country was still reeling from the devastation of the war. It was also at this time that a colourful, bright and happy lifestyle was being promoted via booming advertising industries in America. Posters, billboards and magazines were all using screen-printing techniques to create optimistic and novel renditions of life. Sir Peter Blake’s early training as a graphic designer and his rich education in historical modes of art allowed him to cleverly blend his artistic obsessions with a new popular culture, also inspired by the pop music scene erupting in London.
Peter Blake questioned the status quo and asked what qualified as art – creating new ways of imagining and defining it. In the late 1960s Sir Peter Blake started an art group called the Ruralists, where they painted the beauty and magic of everyday rural life. They created paintings that were joyful and inventive and more importantly gave prominence to the popular and mass culture. They made the ordinary, extraordinary. Since then his career has been nothing short of remarkable, creating legendary posters and paintings that have changed the course of worldwide culture. The infiltration of popular culture, and most specifically pop music, was a common motif in his work. The most famous example of this crossing of genres is visible in his career defining artwork, for the Beatles’ seminal Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album sleeve cover. His ability to tune into the zeitgeist and often inspire it, is an ability that has stayed with him throughout his career.
Carefully choosing his partnerships and working with legendary, historical brands has been a part of Sir Peter Blake’s success. The Anecdotes of Ages Collection is a partnership between The Macallan and Sir Peter Blake. The collection consists of 13 one-of-a-kind bottles of exceptional Scotch whisky that have been maturing in 1967 casks for more than 50 years. Each bottle features its own original Sir Peter Blake art on the label, relating to unique stories about The Macallan’s history, community, and the magnificent natural landscape of The Macallan Estate. This is a partnership not just of two iconic brands but it brings whisky connoisseurs and art lovers together for the first time. With its notes of oak and fig, which lead to a burst of hazelnut and strawberry and finishes with complex flavours of chocolate and spice, this is truly a special single malt. Both the whisky and the bottle are works of art.
Each of the 13 original bottles are hand-blown with an oak stopper and features a label signed by Sir Peter Blake. They reveal Macallan and Sir Peter Blake’s inspirational journey as partners. A leather bound book also accompanies the bottle with all 13 label artworks and corresponding stories, as well as a certificate of authenticity. As part of The Macallan’s strong support for the arts, one of the exceptionally scarce 13 Anecdotes of Ages bottles was auctioned by Sothebys in March 2021, to raise funds to benefit the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. This partnership is the coming together of art, in all forms, a culmination of history and legacy, and a precious collector’s item not to be missed.