The restoration of the statue of William Hogarth in Chiswick to its former glory has begun. The works will be paid for by section 106 funding after lobbing by Chiswick Councillors. Situated in front of Barclay’s Bank on the High Road, the statue of Chiswick’s most famous former resident and “founder of English painting” was first unveiled in 2001 by Ian Hislop and David Hockney. Also present was local resident Peter Blake bringing arguably Britain’s two greatest living artists to honour one of the country’s all-time greats.
Since the unveiling members of the William Hogarth Trust have commemorated the artist’s birthday by placing flowers there each year.
In November 2006, broadcaster Kirsty Young unveiled a new information panel next to the statue on what would have been Hogarth’s 309th birthday. Peter Blake is often called the grandfather of pop art . In the 60s he became famous as the designer of the cover of the Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper album . He has continued working up until the present day. His most recent works include the Venice Suite and box sets of the ‘world series’, ‘Paris Suite‘ & ‘Butterflyman, homage to Damien Hirst’.
Blake continues on his tour of the great cities of the world, following his Venice Suite of 2009, and has now brought his unique vision to the City of Light in the Paris Suite. This beautifully presented portfolio set is comprised of twenty original silkscreen prints on paper. Once again Blake has taken inspiration from an antique souvenir postcard set of the city, using these as the basis for each packed collage composition. Blake creates hugely complex and humorous scenarios filled by characters and objects found in his personal collection of printed materials. The series contains several classic Blake motifs such as the circus, magic crowds, dancing and butterflies, and showcases the sophistry of his compositional skills. Blake’s careful balance and soft application of colour throughout the series, render the works reminiscent of old-fashioned aquatints; they could almost be illustrations to a story book from yesteryear- he leaves it to the viewer to create the story. Collage has been a medium that has fascinated Blake since his first experiments at the Royal College of Art in 1955. He took inspiration from artists such as Kurt Schwitters and Max Ernst to create collages that were surreal and comic visual stories bringing together many disparate and strange elements.
Paris Suite comprises: Paris- 10 Man Upright, Paris-Aquarium, Paris- Butterflies I, Paris- Butterflies II, Paris- Charabanc Outing, Paris- Chicken Art, Paris- Circus I, Paris- Circus II, Paris- Confucius, Paris- Dancing, Paris- Elephants, Paris- Girl, Paris- Lowering Elephants, Paris- Men with their Pets, Paris- Monkeys, Paris- The Day the Apes Escaped, Paris- The Day the Seine Froze Over, Paris- The Kiss, Paris- Women with their Pets, Paris- Working Elephants and is presented in a museum quality binding-box. Each artwork is a signed limited edition silkscreen print on paper with glazes.