Heart-warming and heart-breaking emotive exhibition
The Sheffield artist's ‘Frank and Joy: A Love Story' at the city's Trafalgar Warehouse venue has seen queues forming this week after tickets sold-out for its launch weekend.
And no wonder – this wonderful and hugely emotive show is his first part-performance exhibition and his most immersive yet.
The artist, known for his colourful portraits of his beloved Sheffield and South Yorkshire, really hits home with this three-part exhibition following the tale of two of his much-loved characters.
Frank and Joy feature in McKee’s mural ‘The Snog’ on the side of Fagan’s pub on Broad Lane in Sheffield, but their story takes place in the setting of McKee’s imagined local pub, ‘The Buffer’s Rest’.
Pete said: “The Buffer’s Rest is my idea of the perfect pub.
It’s located in the heart of the city where industry and housing meet.
“It’s a pub that encompasses all those fantastic things that make a great pub.
“It’s warm and cosy, it’s full of character (and characters!), the perfect place for a refreshing pint.”
Dotted around the portraits in the first section of the 'pub' include traditional décor such as ceramic jugs, plates, pressed flower pictures and even an old print of High Street in Rotherham.
There's also a pinboard with messages about a forthcoming fishing trip and a bring and buy sale, as well as an article written for a fictional trade magazine about pub owners Babs and Terry proudly framed.
But among the cosy curios and kitsch knick-knacks the standout stars are, of course, the portraits of Frank and Joy throughout the years by the inimitable McKee.
The second immersive section is being kept a secret to surprise guests, but the third section opens out into a fabulous area dedicated to Pete's love of pubs and features venues including the Hallamshire Hotel in Sheffield, and some paintings dating back to the early 2000s which made this long-term fan very nostalgic indeed.
Pete's shows are always a treasure trove of treats but this is heart-breaking and heart-warming and everything in between.
It's pitch – and picture – perfect.
His best yet.
Frank & Joy: A Love Story runs until November 19.
For more information and to buy tickets, visit www.frankandjoy.co.uk