Sir Peter Blake displays an independent streak

National newspaper angers king of pop art over George Best portrait

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Acclaimed Chiswick artist Sir Peter Blake has for sometime been widely hailed as the king of pop art.  Famed for his iconic design for the cover of the Beatles' album Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Sir Peter Blake, is used to commanding six figure sums for his artwork. 

A generous benefactor to charities both local and global, it unsurprisingly angered the artist greatly to discover that the watercolour of George Best, commissioned by Independent on Sunday, was used by the newspaper as a reader prize in a low-profile competition.

Sir Peter Blake told a rival newspaper " They first asked me to paint a picture of George while he was on his death-bed, but that didn't feel right. So after he died, I did one in 24 hours and gave it to them.

"I had assumed it was a tribute to him and would be auctioned off for charity, but instead it was given to an unknown reader."

The commissioned work, estimated to be worth £15,000, was won by an Independent on Sunday reader whose identity was not publicised.

A compromise was reached between Sir Peter Blake and the Independent on Sunday after the latter agreed to make a monetary donation to a local school.

January 11, 2006