18 February 2013

My Heroes: Grayson Perry

Self –described “that bloke who wears the frock and makes pots”, Turner Prize winner Grayson Perry is a personal hero of mine. Upon winning the Turner Prize in 2003, he opined that the art world “had more trouble coming to terms with [his] being a potter than my choice of frocks”, and his sense of self-identity is explored in his ceramic ‘My Heroes’. Amongst the vast collection of ceramics to be found at the Victoria and Albert, this Grayson Perry piece is a unique self-referential yet relevant piece: it depicts Perry’s personal icons, and reveals more about him as an artist and as a person in the process. The vase displays four faces of Perry’s persona through his ‘heroes’: motorcyclist Barry Sheen; punk poet Mark E. Smith; transsexual model April Ashley; and finally celebrated illustrator Aubrey Beardsley (as pictured). I recommend you pop over to the Ceramics collection, or browse online, because the collection has so many stories to tell.

Rachel May
Image source: V&A online archives

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