Grayson Perry United Kingdom, b. 1960


Grayson Perry is an English artist, famous for his art and famous for his cross-dressing. Grayson Perry was awarded the Turner prize in 2003 for his brilliant but often shocking ceramic works, the first 'potter' to receive the accolade. Grayson Perry's classically formed vases are decorated in bright colours, depicting disturbing and often uncomfortable subjects at odds with their attractive appearance. There is a strong autobiographical element in Grayson Perry's work, in which images of Grayson Perry as "Claire", his female alter-ego, often appear. Grayson Perry was never motivated by a desire to work in clay as such; rather he chose pottery because studio ceramics was in "thrall to a formal idea". Grayson Perry found in pottery an effective alternative because of "the ways artifice could be deployed to make the innocent or honest pot have a purpose and mean something".


Grayson Perry's pottery refers to several ceramic traditions, including Greek pottery and folk art. Grayson Perry has said, "I like the whole iconography of pottery. It hasn't got any big pretensions to being great public works of art, and no matter how brash a statement I make, on a pot it will always have certain humility ... for me the shape has to be classical invisible: then you've got a base that people can understand".


Doll Pendant, 2009, Photographed by Alexander English