Some of you might know that the starting point for my current college project was Grayson Perry, a British Fine Artist who specialises in Ceramics. It was a particularly fascinating starting point to me, as I remembered watching him win the Turner prize in 2003. When I saw m collect his award in that massive party frock, I knew strangeness was celebrated in that world.
I really love his work, and you seem to get a particularly good insight into his perspective from a show called, “The Best Possible Taste” which is still available to watch on 4OD (all praise Internet TV).
TBPT is a three part series on what some people believe is the soul structure of the UK, our class system. It’s really very good; or so I think, thought provoking without being (arguably) condescending. I particularly like the observation that Fine Art is populated by the Middle Class as buyers and the Working Class as peddlers, lending credence to the theory that only the working class believe in social mobility, whereas the Middle Classes try their best to avoid ‘downward mobility’, spending money or ‘buying taste’.
Perry’s work depends on his illustration, and almost all his work seems to come from life, from watching people, talking to them and getting to know their lives. TBPT takes the stories of people from everywhere on the UK class range, and immortalises their agonies and ecstasies on a tapestry he names “The Vanity of Small Differences”, based loosely on “A Rakes Progress” by William Hogarth. One mans travel through the class structure, and the Vice and sin goes with it.
Whatever you think about class, I enjoy Perry’s work and what it says about us very much.