Grayson Perry

Biography of Grayson Perry

Grayson Perry is a man of many faces and even more talents. Over a career spanning decades, the English artist has created a mythology all his own, centered around fictional and non-fictional figures of influence in his life. All more or less connected to his childhood, the performative and iconic aspect of his work becomes most apparent in his unique way of embellishing his own autobiography.

The stories of Grayson Perry’s protagonists play out across a variety of media. Perry’s practice incorporates ceramics, textiles, drawings, prints, and sculptures. His use of ceramics, an ancient but largely forgotten art by the time Perry entered into the modern day art world, saw him carve out a niche all for himself. Now, his oversized pottery is often cut, painted, glazed, and decorated with further elements shaped from clay, cementing Perry’s status as a master craftsman. An intricate combination of skill and meaning, his ritualistic work is dense and richly textured, and ranges from acerbic social commentary to laying bare his own vulnerability.

Grayson Perry’s childhood teddy bear, Alan Measles, features as a godlike figure in Perry’s universe. In addition, Perry, who has been dressing in women’s clothes since he was a teenager, gives lectures and makes public appearances as his alter ego Claire, as well as featuring her in his artwork. Identity has always been one of his central concerns, dating back to when Perry lived in a squat with musician Boy George in his twenties and experimented with crazy outfits to wear to local nightclubs. Perry won the Turner Prize 2003 and in 2013 was made a CBE, with the UK recognizing him as one of their most important living artists

In addition, Grayson Perry has presented several programs about art and identity on British television. Born in 1960, Perry’s adventures have included a pilgrimage through Germany on a motorcycle with a shrine for his teddy bear on the back, and the installation of critically acclaimed show “The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman” at the British Museum in 2011. As well as a solo show in London in 2014, at the renowned National Portrait Gallery, Perry had a one-man exhibition, “My Pretty Little Art Career” at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney from 2015 to 2016.

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