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
Grayson Perry CBE RA (born 24 March 1960) is an English contemporary artist. He is known for his ceramic vases, tapestries and cross-dressing, as well as his observations of the contemporary arts scene, and for dissecting British "prejudices, fashions and foibles."
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 and has curated exhibitions. 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.
Perry has had solo exhibitions at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, at the Barbican Centre, the British Museum and Serpentine Gallery in London, at The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, and at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan. His work is held in the permanent collections of the British Council and Arts Council, Crafts Council, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Tate and Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
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". 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.
Perry describes his first sexual experience at the age of seven when he tied himself up in his pyjamas. From an early age he liked to dress in women's clothes and in his teens realized that he was a transvestite. 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," 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". 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".
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.
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