Today in class we watched a 20 minute video about Grayson Perry. He is self-identified as a “cross-dressing potter from Essex.” He is a multimedia artist who was made famous by a tapestry but he is known for his traditional vases that are decorated with his own version of history and stories. He wrote a book called Playing to the Gallery. He is “obsessed” with teddy bears. He says it sprouted from a lack of father figure. His father left their family when he was four and his step-father was not a good person. In place of a father figure he looked to a teddy bear he had named “Allen Measles,” the first name coming from his best friend at the time and the last from a sickness he had. He continued to have this teddy bear until he was fifteen.
After going to college for art, Grayson went to London and squatted for four years. He lived with a large group of female performance artists and would sometimes participate in their work. He worked through many mediums and eventually was invited by a friend to a pottery class. It took him a long time to grow into the medium but as he got better his work was recognized. His work is said to link craft and tradition. He challenges traditional form with modern ideas, making them uncomfortable. He works in archetypes of the medium while doing contemporary work. However his work is hindered by his inability to work with others. He says he wants to create his own mistakes, therefore only showing his style.