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In 1997, just after I had completed 2 years at the National Gallery as Artist-in-residence, I reached the age of 65. This is retirement age for a male, so I announced my retirement. It was a conceptual art statement, and didn’t mean that I would stop working, but I would retire from the avarice, jealousy, ambition, hope and glory of the art world. Then in 2007, at the age of 75 I chose to begin my “Late Period”, rather than have other people at a later date, decide it.

I could have anticipated a gentle stroll towards the sunset, and the quiet ending of my career as an artist at that point, but quite the opposite has happened.”

Peter Blake