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Peter Robert McKee
1 February 1966
|Known for||Painting, cartoons|
Pete McKee (born 1 February 1966) is a painter and commercial artist from Sheffield, England. He is a cartoonist for the Sheffield Telegraph's sports section. He has exhibited regularly around the North of England. Using bright colours his characters inhabit a world of working men's clubs, bingo halls and family trips to the seaside. Football is also heavily featured in his work although he regularly depicts fans from both halves of the footballing divide in Sheffield: Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday, the team he himself supports.
Peter Robert McKee was born on 1 February 1966 in Sheffield to steelworker Frank McKee and Marjorie McKee (née Bullas) and grew up on a council estate in the Jordanthorpe area of the city with two older brothers and one elder sister. His mother died of cancer when he was eight years old.
Educated at Rowlinson Comprehensive School McKee's ambition was to go to art college however he ended up working in a factory. McKee instead was able to find a creative outlet through music (his current band is a ukulele group under the name of 'The Everly Pregnant Brothers') as well as designing logos and similar pieces of art although at the time his main focus was to try to find a record producer.
McKee started sending drawings to a Sheffield Wednesday fanzine for which they offered him £50. Encouraged by this McKee started drawing for the Sheffield Telegraph and continues to do so. McKee decided to concentrate on his painting in 2004 and began by painting with emulsion on MDF boards.
McKee opened his first London show, entitled ‘Lost Weekends’ in 2007 and has also exhibited in Birmingham and New York City since then. Subsequently, he was commissioned by Acme Studios to interpret characters from US TV shows The Simpsons, Family Guy and Futurama.
In 2007 McKee was commissioned by Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher to paint him as part of Gibson Guitar’s “Guitar Town” show. McKee painted a portrait of the guitarist onto a 10-foot fibreglass guitar which was displayed as part of the open air exhibition on London’s South Bank. In 2009 he created artwork for the Arctic Monkeys boxed set At the Apollo.
In early 2010 McKee was invited to design a limited edition pair of Clarks Desert Boots, using the original style template. To celebrate the heritage of the original boot he created images featuring a group of Mods, for the men’s boot, and Modettes for the women's. The boots were sold in selected Clarks stores, specifically in Paris, New York and Japan.
Later in 2010 McKee collaborated with fashion designer Sir Paul Smith, staging an exhibition of his work at Smith's Tokyo store. This saw the development of Teenage Kicks – a limited edition book celebrating the influence of music on youth fashion. Selected images were reproduced on Paul Smith clothing and bags specifically for the Japanese market.
2012 saw McKee being invited to take part in a special project from Warp Films, celebrating its tenth birthday. Pete was asked to re-create ten posters from ten of their iconic films, including Dead Man's Shoes, Submarine and This is England.
In 2018 his collaborative show, ‘THIS CLASS WORKS’, sold out, with over 10,000 visitors coming to see this exhibition. 2018 also saw Pete received an honorary doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University.
- Urban Legends (November 2004)
- A Month of Sundays (January 2005)
- The Boy with a Leg Named Brian (October 2005)
- Northern Soul (November 2005)
- Jumpers for Goalposts (July 2006)
- Wish you were here (June 2006)
- Loneliness of a Fat Distance Runner (October 2006)
- Lost Weekends (November 2006)
- A Month of Sundays (June 2007)
- 331⁄3 (April 2008)
- 22 Views of Sheffield (November 2008)
- Snooker City - Sheffield (April 2009)
- Great Moments in Music History - Manchester (October 2009)
- Teenage Kicks - Tokyo (April 2010)
- A Month of Sundays - Scarborough (March 2011)
- The McKee Collection - The Biscuit Factory Newcastle (March - June 2011)
- Great Moments in Popular Music - SNAP Galleries London (September 2011)
- The Joy of Sheff - Blue Shed Sheffield (May 2013)
- Thud, Crackle, Pop - London (May 2014)
- 6 Weeks to Eternity - Magna Rotherham (May 2016)
- Marjorie - Herd of Sheffield (July - October 2016)
- This Class Works - 92 Burton Rd Sheffield (July 2018)
- "Pete McKee". Sheffield Telegraph. 16 September 2008. Archived from the original on 3 October 2018. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
- "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
- "About Pete". Pete McKee. Archived from the original on 11 December 2016. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
- Jeeves, Paul (14 April 2013). "A city full of characters". The Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
- Givans, Laura (22 September 2005). "'Coolest job in the world'". BBC South Yorkshire. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
- "Pete McKee : Noel Gallagher's favourite artist". NME. 6 June 2008. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- "Drawn to Dulux". Yorkshire Post. 19 August 2010. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
- "Call out of blue puts Pete over moon". The Star. 23 May 2007. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- Armitage, Simon (15 February 2009). "Thirty-three and a third: I'll play this on my sounding board". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
- "Pete McKee has designed graphics for a pair of SS10 Clarks Originals". Design Week. 28 January 2010. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
- "Pete McKee x Clarks Originals Desert Boots". Highsnobiety. 24 November 2009. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- Burn, Chris (12 March 2018). "After a life-saving liver transplant, artist Pete McKee on his new collection celebrating the working classes". Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- "SMITH OF THE STAR: Pete's golden touch with fashion icon". The Star. 22 April 2010. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
- "Warp Films at 10: Pete McKee's poster art". British Film Institute. 31 January 2014. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- Beesley, Ruby (1 December 2012). "Breaking New Ground: 10 Years of Warp Films". Aesthetica Short Film Festival. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
- "Muriel in a mural". Yorkshire Post. 28 June 2018. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
- Hobson, Dan (1 June 2016). "VIDEO: Sheffield artist Pete McKee completes biggest ever mural". The Star. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
- "10,000 people visit Pete McKee's This Class Works exhibition". Exposed Magazine. Exposed Magazine.
- "Pop artist to be presented with honorary doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University". www.shu.ac.uk. Sheffield Hallam University.
- "McKee holiday snaps exhibition". BBC News. 6 July 2011. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
- "PDSA shop is forced to shut". The Star. 28 September 2006. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- BBC. "BBC - South Yorkshire - In Pictures - Pete McKee gallery". BBC. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- "In pictures: McKee's Manchester". BBC- Sheffield and Manchester. 13 October 2009. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- "Pete McKee's Great Moments In Popular Music". NME. 5 September 2011. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- Drury, Colin (12 July 2018). "The ex-postie whose paintings are loved by Noel Gallagher and the north". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- "Artist evokes seaside holiday memories". BBC News. 14 May 2016. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- Evans, Alice (21 October 2016). "Herd of Sheffield charity auction raises £410,600 for Sheffield Children's Hospital". The Star. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- Harris, Miriam (22 May 2018). "See the best art and design exhibitions in 2018". Digital Arts. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- Youngs, Ian (12 July 2018). "Swapping art for food bank donations". BBC News. Retrieved 3 October 2018.