Grayson Perry: Genius or Mad Man

Grayson Perry, well-known as a transvestite and his zany alter-ego Claire, a 10-year-old girl, which he used to collect his Turner Prize in 2003.

In many ways, Grayson Perry has had a huge impact in the art world, being the first Ceramic Artist to win the Turner Prize and subsequently open to debate the Art of Craft and to challenge traditional views towards fine Art.

Grayson Perry Village of Penians 2001

However Grayson Perry seemingly makes statements that are less than fact and revels in his multi-persona and ‘celebrity’ status among the art world.

In a recent interview for the BBC, Grayson Perry states that “The last taboo in art is the erect penis”. Not so Grayson! In 1970 Herman Makkink made a Kinetic sculpture entitled ‘Rocking machine’ which was used in the cult classic film ‘A clockwork orange'(1971).

'Rocking Machine' Herman Makkink 1970, taken from the film 'A Clockwork Orange'

In interviews and appearances, Grayson seems eccentric to the extreme and bordering madness, after recently taking his 50-year-old teddy bear and another persona of his Alan Measles on a pilgrimage before displaying the custom-made motor cycle in the latest exhibition to be curated by him at ‘The British Museum – The tomb of the Unknown Craftsman’

Now one does wonder if all this is purposely derived by Perry in a genius attempt to transform the art world from all this ‘concept art’ where thought is more powerful than the actual work itself, where a plastic bag can be hung from the ceiling in a vague attempt to portray a feeling or experience.

Grayson Perry (b. 1960), The Rosetta Vase, 2011. © Grayson Perry. Courtesy Victoria Miro Gallery, London

Grayson Perry has made us look once again at the meaning of Art, not ‘Art for Arts sake’ or by ‘thinking Art’ but by the skills associated with the Masters of Art, whereby Art can be beautifully made with an enormous amount of skill, preciseness, technique and knowledge, where an in-depth understanding of the materials used to make such works has been carefully thought out and a great amount of time has been spent to achieve the work.

An Artist, Illustrator, Potter, Grayson Perry not only tells a story with his work, giving it meaning, opening it to personal interpretation, discussion and debate but is also a Master at his Craft.

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