Grayson Perry is one of the best-known contemporary British artists. He won the prestigious Turner Prize in 2003, and he has been a member of the Royal Academy of Arts since 2012. Born in Chelmsford, Essex, in 1960, he now lives and works in London. Grayson Perry’s work features a wide variety of techniques and materials: tapestries, ceramics, large woodcuts, cast-iron sculptures, prints, dresses, and even a complete house. With these colourful, lavishly decorated works he evokes a fantasy world that often looks like a caricature of ours, enabling him to engage in humorous dialogue with contemporary society. As an artist, Perry is keenly aware of who gets to see his art, whether they are affluent art collectors or ordinary people for whom the confrontation with contemporary art can prove unsettling. An important theme in the books and programmes that he makes is, therefore, the possibility of art for everybody. Nonetheless, he stresses that he makes things for himself; his criterion is what he would like to have in his home or to see in a museum.
He achieved success with a number of big exhibitions, starting with ‘Guerilla Tactics’at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2002). ‘The Most Popular Exhibition Ever!’ travelled around the world from 2015 to 2017. In 2020 the Holburne Museumin Bath organized a major retrospective on Perry, called ‘The Pre-Therapy Years’. One of his best-known works is the series of tapestries The Vanity of Small Differences (2012), first shown at the Victoria Miro Gallery in London. One of the first documentary series by Perry, All In the Best Possible Taste, for which he won a BAFTA in 2013, chronicled the making of these works. He also won a BAFTA for the documentary series Who Are You? (2014), about identity, which was accompanied by an exhibition at The National Portrait Gallery in London. The documentary series All Man (2016) explores masculinity and gender stereotyping, which were also the subject of his book The Descent of Man. With the television programme Grayson’s Art Club (2020-2021), Perry demonstrated in unique fashion the uniting power of art during the lockdowns in the United Kingdom.