Queer Places:
King Edward VI Grammar School, Broomfield Rd, Chelmsford CM1 3SX, Regno Unito
Braintree College, Church Ln, Braintree CM7 5SN, Regno Unito
University of Portsmouth, University House, Winston Churchill Ave, Portsmouth PO1 2UP, Regno Unito
A House For Essex, Black Boy Ln, Manningtree CO11, United Kingdom

Related imageGrayson Perry CBE RA (born 24 March 1960) is an English contemporary artist. He is known for his ceramic vases, tapestries[1] and cross-dressing, as well as his observations of the contemporary arts scene, and for dissecting British "prejudices, fashions and foibles."[2]

Perry's vases have classical forms and are decorated in bright colours, depicting subjects at odds with their attractive appearance. There is a strong autobiographical element in his work, in which images of Perry as "Claire", his female alter-ego, and "Alan Measles", his childhood teddy bear, often appear.

He has made a number of documentary television programmes[3] and has curated exhibitions.[2] He has published two autobiographies, Grayson Perry: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl (2007) and The Descent of Man (2016), written and illustrated a graphic novel, Cycle of Violence (2012), written a book about art, Playing to the Gallery (2014), and published his illustrated Sketchbooks (2016). Various books describing his work have been published. In 2013 he delivered the BBC Reith Lectures.[4]

Perry has had solo exhibitions at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, at the Barbican Centre,[5] the British Museum[6] and Serpentine Gallery[7] in London, at The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh,[8] and at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan.[8] His work is held in the permanent collections of the British Council and Arts Council,[8] Crafts Council,[9] Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam,[10] Tate[11] and Victoria and Albert Museum, London.[12]

He was awarded the Turner Prize in 2003. In 2008 he was ranked number 32 in The Daily Telegraph's list of the "100 most powerful people in British culture".[13] In 2012, Perry was among the British cultural icons selected by artist Peter Blake to appear in a new version of his most famous artwork—the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover—to celebrate the British cultural figures of his life.[14]

Perry describes his first sexual experience at the age of seven when he tied himself up in his pyjamas.[15] From an early age he liked to dress in women's clothes[15] and in his teens realized that he was a transvestite.[15] At the age of 15 he moved in with his father's family in Chelmsford, where he began to go out dressed as a woman. When he was discovered by his father he said he would stop but his stepmother told everyone about it and a few months later threw him out. He returned to his mother and stepfather at Great Bardfield.

Perry frequently appears in public dressed as a woman, and he has described his female alter-ego, "Claire", variously as "a 19th century reforming matriarch, a middle-England protester for No More Art, an aero-model-maker, or an Eastern European Freedom Fighter,"[26][16] and "a fortysomething woman living in a Barratt home, the kind of woman who eats ready meals and can just about sew on a button".[27] In his work Perry includes pictures of himself in women's clothes: for example Mother of All Battles (1996) is a photograph of Claire holding a gun and wearing a dress, in ethnic eastern European style, embroidered with images of war, exhibited at his 2002 Guerrilla Tactics show. One critic has called Perry "The social critic from hell".[26][16]

Perry has designed many of Claire's outfits himself. Also, fashion students at Central Saint Martins art college in London take part in an annual competition to design new dresses for Claire. An exhibition, Making Himself Claire: Grayson Perry's Dresses, is being held at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, from November 2017 to February 2018.[28][29]


  1. Moore, Suzanne (8 June 2013). "Grayson Perry's tapestries: weaving class and taste". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  2. Cole, Alison (29 May 2015). "Grayson Perry: Provincial Punk loses his edge". The Independent. London. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  3. Raeside, Julia (21 June 2012). "Grayson Perry showcases the fine art of TV documentary-making". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  4. Simon Kelner, "How Grayson Perry and The Reith Lectures will restore your faith in the BBC". The Independent, 16 October 2013. Accessed 28 December 2017.
  5. "Turner at 20", Tate, 1 December 2003. Accessed 20 December 2017.
  6. "Grayson Perry: The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman". British Museum. Archived from the original on 11 February 2012. Retrieved 4 February 2012.
  7. "Serpentine Gallery 8 Jun 2017 to 10 Sep 2017: Grayson Perry: The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever!", Serpentine Galleries. Accessed 4 January 2018.
  8. "Grayson Perry: The Vanity of Small Differences", British Council. Accessed 4 January 2018.
  9. "Mad Kid's Bedroom Wall Pot (P442)", Crafts Council. Accessed 6 January 2017.
  10. "Turner Prize Winner Grayson Perry", Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Accessed 20 December 2017.
  11. "Grayson Perry: born 1960", Tate. Accessed 21 December 2017.
  12. "Your Search Results", Victoria and Albert Museum. Accessed 7 January 2018.
  13. "The 100 most powerful people in British culture". The Daily Telegraph. 11 November 2016.
  14. "New faces on Sgt Pepper album cover for artist Peter Blake's 80th birthday". The Guardian. 12 November 2016.
  15. Jones, Wendy, Grayson Perry - Portrait of the Artist as a Young Girl, Chatto & Windus, London, 2006. ISBN 0-7011-7893-0
  16. Wilson, Andrew. Grayson Perry: General Artist
  17. Dawson, p. 81
  18. Nikkhah, Roya; And Now For Stephen Jones's Crowning Glory, in The Daily Telegraph, 22 November 2008
  19. Harries, Rhiannon (8 May 2010). "How We Met: Philippa & Grayson Perry". The Independent. London. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  20. "Grayson Perry announced as new UAL Chancellor". University of the Arts London. 17 March 2015. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  21. "Grayson Perry announced as Trustee of the British Museum". The British Museum. 2015. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  22. Perry, Grayson (2 May 2015). "'Cycling is the perfect sport for transvestites'" – via The Guardian.
  23. "What cost of living crisis? Labour auctions off a kick around with Ed Balls for £24,000 and a ceramic lion for £42,000 to raise cash for its election coffers". Mail Online. 11 July 2014. Retrieved February 14, 2017.
  24. Quinn, Ben (9 July 2014). "Celebrities and Labour apparatchiks out for fundraising dinner". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  25. Burton, Charlie (30 July 2017). "Grayson Perry: 'Gender is a fluid thing, even for lads'". British GQ. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  26. Grayson Perry: guerrilla tactics, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 2002
  27. Perry, pp. 8-9 [more detail needed]
  28. "Grayson Perry's dresses really are works of art in new exhibition", BBC News, 3 November 2017. Accessed 9 January 2018
  29. "Making Himself Claire: Grayson Perry’s Dresses: 4 November 2017 - 4 February 2018", Walker Art Gallery. Accessed 9 January 2018