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

13 February 2013

David Bowie at the V&A

From 23rd March 2013, the Victoria and Albert Museum will be host to a David Bowie retrospective. Like most young people interested in design, I came to Bowie for his anarchic visual aesthetic and stayed for the poetry of his songs: I’m just vexed that my parents discovered his artistry forty years before I could. Bowie’s appeal is so wide because it’s often associated with an exciting time in British culture: born to Brixton, he is a true ‘London boy’, and I’m thrilled the Victoria and Albert Museum are able to showcase this.

'David Bowie is' runs at the V&A from 24th March

Rachel May

Image sources: one, two