oil and collage on board
26,7 x 21,7 cm (10 1/2 x 8 1/2 in.)
verso signed, dated, titled and inscribed 'TOM BOY' / CHILI / Peter Blake/ Completed Nov 2015 / starting to rework on November 19th / ADAM X Peter Blake (crossed out)
In the 2015 work "Tom Boy", Blake's mastery of the successful combination of collage and painting is once again evident. Portraits in particular play an important role in the artist's oeuvre. This work shows the portrait of a dark-skinned, beautiful young woman in the finest oil painting, looking critically at the viewer. The portrait is framed by a dark grey passe-partout of rough burlap. A green glued-on wooden strip and individual printed letters on white wooden plates, which together form the words TOM BOY, border the portrait at the lower edge of the passe-partout. Below this, directly on the passe-partout, a small Chilean flag made of paper is glued on. Blake often added attributes to his portraits that say something about the sitter or characterise him. Since in the present case we are not dealing with a notable person, we can only speculate whether the description 'Tom Boy' and the reference to Chile have something in common with this person. However, the work seems almost to be an anticipation of the current social discourse on relevant questions of gender identity.