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12 Jul 6:21am

The ex-postie whose paintings are loved by Noel Gallagher and the north

The Guardian
Inspired by a drawing of petrol pump in an issue of Tintin, Pete McKee quit his job to paint. His work is now loved by everyone from Arctic Monkeys to Paul Smith – and even Disney In the 13 years since he sold his first painting at the age of 39, Pete McKee – a former supermarket shelf-stacker and postman – has achieved a lot. His exhibitions have attracted 15,000 people. He has collaborated with everyone from Disney to Arctic Monkeys. And his fans include Ken Loach, Maxine Peake and Richard Hawley. Noel Gallagher once phoned to say one painting – a kid practicing guitar on a bed – summed up his youth. Yet he remains all but ignored by London-based critics. “My work doesn’t require dissection or over-interpretation,” he says. “So it gets pooh-poohed. But the minimalism is deliberate. It means the stories resonate. These are my memories, but people look at them and see their own. Like with A Good Education, I wasn’t painting Noel Gallagher’s youth. I was painting mine. But he understood where that came from.”
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