Clive Barker (artist)

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Clive Barker
Born Clive Barker
Luton, Bedfordshire
Nationality United Kingdom British
Known for Sculpture
Notable work

Splash,[1] 1967

Sir Peter Thomas Blake,[2] 1983
Movement Pop art

Clive Barker (born 1940, Luton, Bedfordshire) is a British pop artist. He has been exhibited in galleries around the world during his career and has works in permanent collections including the Tate collection and the National Portrait Gallery.


Clive was a student at Luton College of Technology and Art from 1957. However, he left the course in 1959 and went to work on the assembly-line of the Vauxhall Motors car factory in Luton for 18 months. Doing so he was following a number of his relatives including his father, his uncle who was a Director at Vauxhall Motors, two of his older brothers and his two brothers in law. Whilst at Vauxhall Motors Clive realised the potential of sculptural qualities of industrially finished objects, particularly in leather and chrome plated metal. Many of his works are in chrome or bronze.[3]

As well as being an artist, Clive is the subject of two photographic portraits in the National Portrait Gallery collection.[4]


He made sculpture from everyday objects which he bought and had covered in chrome. Instead of taking real objects as they were he either commissioned fabricators to make replicas to his specifications or had the original objects recast or resurfaced so that the sculptures became non-functional replications of them. His early work included sculptural representations of Coca Cola contour bottles, hand grenades and a Mars bar.[5]

Clive's more recent work is predominantly in aluminium and bronze and has featured, amongst other items, a storm trooper mask, Dennis the Menace and Homer Simpson, as well as a bronze depicting his own head underneath a large bunch of bananas.[6]

He is a contemporary of Peter Blake and contributed the back sleeve cover for The Who's Face Dances album, which Peter Blake commissioned, along with one of four front sleeve pictures of Pete Townshend.

His works are in public collections including the National Portrait Gallery,[7] the Tate collection [8] and Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museum.[9]

As well as sculpture, Clive Barker has also produced a collage portrait of Peter Blake - the 'Peter Blake Box',[10] and a number of pastel portraits, including Pete Townshend and George Melly which were exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in the 1980s.

In 2001 Peter Blake invited artists, including Barker, Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst and Sarah Lucas to participate in the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Barker lives in Hampstead.[12] He has two sons from his marriage to artist Rose Bruen, Tad and Ras.[13]


  1. ^ "'Splash', Clive Barker". Tate. Retrieved 2014-05-12. 
  2. ^ "National Portrait Gallery - Portrait - NPG 5845; Peter Blake". 2004-09-18. Retrieved 2014-05-12. 
  3. ^ Tate Gallery
  4. ^ "National Portrait Gallery - Person - Clive Barker". 1994-05-03. Retrieved 2014-05-12. 
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ [2][dead link]
  7. ^ "National Portrait Gallery - Person - Clive Barker". Retrieved 2014-05-12. 
  8. ^ Tate Gallery
  9. ^ Aberdeen Art Gallery[dead link]
  10. ^ "National Portrait Gallery - Portrait - NPG 5845; Peter Blake". 2004-09-18. Retrieved 2014-05-12. 
  11. ^ "In pictures: Summer Exhibition", BBC News, 1 June 2001.
  12. ^ "Sculpture's glittering prizes: the sculpture of British Pop artist Clive Barker replicates functional, mass-produced objects in gleaming materials. His works recall Duchamp's notion of the 'ready-made' and highlight the beauty of every-day items, with a twist of humour. He talks to Apollo about his unconventional approach and why he still may turn to paint. - Free Online Library". 2011-01-01. Retrieved 2014-05-12. 
  13. ^ "Trivia". IMDb. Retrieved 2014-05-12. 

External links[edit]