Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative

The Babe is Back

Dec 22, 2015


Many years ago I lived in an apartment with Babe Rainbow. When I moved out and then got married, the Babe took a different path but she turned up recently and once again adorns the walls of my office.

Babe Rainbow is one of a series of "fictitious lady wrestlers" imagined in 1968 by the British artist Peter Blake. Blake is still going strong, as this article in today's New York Times attests. He is probably best known for designing the cover of the classic Beatles album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

The Babe is a silkscreen on tin and was produced in a run of 10,000 copies. As I recall, mine was picked up at a United Cigar Store in downtown Vancouver. She is a bit banged up, which is pretty much what you'd expect of a wrestler.

It is the only piece of art owned by both myself and New York's Museum of Modern Art. Does that make me a collector?