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Peter Blake and Pauline Boty in 'Pop Goes the Easel'

Following our fabulous lunch with Peter Blake at the weekend and our latest exhibition review, ‘Pauline Boty: Pop Artist and Woman’, the leading figures of the British Pop Art movement have been at the forefront of our minds. 

‘Pop Goes the Easel’ was Ken Russell’s first full-length documentary for the BBC’s art series Monitor. His cutting edge 1962 documentary is a portrait of Peter Blake and Pauline Boty, as well as artists Peter Philips and Derek Boshier. This beautiful little film captures the excitement and energy of the pioneering young Pop artists. 

In the film, a 29-year old Peter Blake explores his passion for pop icons, such as Brigitte Bardot. Don’t miss his magnificent bedspread embroidered with British military patches and flags – reminiscent of his work ‘Found Art: 24 Flags’. Pauline Boty, Britain’s great female pop art painter who was to die only four years later, performs in a short dramatic dream piece. She also features discussing her imaginative collages with Peter in her wonderfully vintage bedsit. 

This beautiful glimpse into a bygone era reminds us how pioneering these artists really were and how their art captured the lives and loves of a generation. It is a must watch for any Peter Blake fan who can spot his reoccurring themes; circus, celebrity and popular ephemera.

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