GRAYSON PERRY DOES BREXIT

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - Grayson Perry: Di­vided Bri­tain airs on Tues­day at 9pm, Chan­nel 4. Grayson Perry presents The Most Pop­u­lar Art Ex­hi­bi­tion Ever! from 8 June-10 Septem­ber at Ser­pen­tine Gallery; ser­pen­tine­gal­leries.org

Bri­tain’s most fa­mous trans­ves­tite pot­ter has trav­elled the coun­try dis­cov­er­ing what unites Brex­i­teers and Re­main­ers – teapots, Mar­mite and Bowie – and what di­vides us. And he has turned his find­ings into art. Mick Brown meets a grand provo­ca­teur turned na­tional treasure. Por­trait by Richard Ansett

The one thing ever yone knows about Grayson Perr y – pot­ter, Reith lec­turer, Turner Prize- and Bafta-win­ner and tele­vi­sion cul­tural an­thro­pol­o­gist – is that he is a man who is fond of wear­ing a dress. And the one thing ev­ery­one wants to know af­ter I have in­ter­viewed him is: was he wear­ing one?

Of course, he wasn’t. Nowa­days Perr y’s fa­mous al­ter ego, Claire, tends only to come out for spe­cial oc­ca­sions. And this morn­ing she has re­mained firmly in the closet.

Perry’s stu­dio is on a quiet res­i­den­tial street in an ex­pen­sive par t of nor th Lon­don, be­hind a high brick wall, through a g reen wooden gate – a 10-minute cy­cle ride from where he lives with his wife Philippa.

He is loung­ing on a sofa which is cov­ered with a sam­ple of a ta­pes­try he did for his Bri­tish Mu­seum show in 2011, The Map

of Truths and Be­liefs. He is eat­ing a ba­nana. He has a large, bony face, prom­i­nent teeth, and an un­ruly thatch of straw-coloured hair. He is wear­ing a blue T-shirt; a white, bony knee pok­ing through a tear in his bagg y, paintspat­tered blue trousers. His voice is es­tu­ary blokeish, and his man­ner ut­terly can­did – a man, you sense, who would con­fess to a crime be­fore he’d been ac­cused of it. But who also knows when to stop. Within 20 min­utes of sit­ting down with him (and I’m still not quite sure how we got on to the sub­ject) I find my­self ask­ing about whether he was wear­ing a dress when he en­joyed his ear­li­est sex­ual ex­pe­ri­ence. He feigns hor­ror – ‘I’m not go­ing into the de­tail of my sex­ual his­tory for the Daily Tel

egraph!’ – then roars with laugh­ter. A truly fan­tas­tic laugh: a dirty, grav­elly cackle that puts you in mind of noth­ing so much as the Carry On ac­tor Sid James at the mo­ment when Bar­bara Wind­sor be­comes un­har­nessed from her can­tilevered bra.

What a sing ular and in­ter­est­ing per­son Perry is. He has a new ex­hi­bi­tion open­ing next week, at the Ser­pen­tine, en­ti­tled

The Most Pop­u­lar Art Ex­hi­bi­tion Ever!. ‘A provo­ca­tion to some ex­tent,’ he ad­mits – ac­tu­ally more a piece of tongue-in-cheek, barefaced af­fron­tery.

But one that con­tains a germ of truth. If not Bri­tain’s most pop­u­lar liv ing ar t ist – t hat accolade surely st ill be­longs to David Hock­ney – then Grayson Perry is cer­tainly one of the best known. When, in 2014, he re­ceived his CBE from the Prince of Wales dressed in what he de­scribed as his ‘Ital­ian mother-of-the-bride out­fit’, it was an epochal mo­ment; not simply be­cause it was the first time that a trans­ves­tite pot­ter had re­ceived a CBE, not even be­cause, as the news­pa­pers re­por ted, t he t wo men were ‘quickly chat­ting like old friends’, but be­cause it marked Perry’s el­e­va­tion to the rank of na­tional treasure – the provo­ca­teur turned pop­u­lar hero.

His new ex­hi­bi­tion in­cludes si x pieces f rom Perr y’s telev ision se­ries All Man, an ex­plo­ration of mod­ern mas­culin­ity in which Per r y ta l ke d to c ag e fight­ers, gang mem­bers and city traders, as well as a va­ri­ety of new ce­ram­ics and ta­pes­tries on the theme of con­tem­po­rary Bri­tain and Brexit. At the same time, Chan­nel 4 will be broad­cast­ing a new doc­u­men­tary, Grayson Perry: Di­vided Bri­tain – a tour d’hori­zon of the coun­try a year on from the EU ref­er­en­dum, in which Perry vis­its the most pro-brexit and pro-re­main parts of Bri­tain.

More than a ce­ram­i­cist and an artist, in re­cent times Perry has emerged as a br il­lia nt ly ef fect ive doc­u­men­tar­ian; a n as­tute ob­server of so­cial mores, cul­ture, class and taste – of the things that make us who we are. And, more specif­i­cally, make Grayson Perry who he is.

He re­ceived his CBE from the Prince of Wales dressed in his ‘Ital­ian moth­erof-the-bride out­fit’

Perry, who is 57, grew up in Es­sex, the son of an en­gi­neer. When Perry was four, his mother had an af­fair with the milk­man – life im­i­tat­ing cliché – and then mar­ried him. His step­fa­ther was an am­a­teur wrestler, who brought his vi­o­lence home and showed lit­tle af­fec­tion for Perry or his younger sis­ter, He­len. He once de­stroyed a suit­case full of pho­to­graphs of Perry, his mother and his sis­ter.

Per r y es­caped into a fa nt asy life, build ing model aero­planes, draw­ing and play­ing with a teddy bear he called Alan Measles, which he would later de­scribe as a ‘sur­ro­gate fa­ther fig­ure’ and would be­come a re­cur­ring mo­tif in his work. (Alan Measles re­mains Perry’s Twit­ter han­dle.)

He was 12 when he first put on one of his sis­ter’s dresses. ‘It’s very sexy, isn’t it?’ he smiles. ‘It’s a fetish. I en­joyed it.’

At the age of 15, he moved in with his fa­ther’s new fam­ily in Chelms­ford. At week­ends he’d leave home with a frock in his bag, change in a pub­lic loo and drift around the lo­cal ceme­tery – a se­cret life that ended when his step­sis­ter read his di­ary, and he was thrown out. Back at home, his mother in­sisted on con­sult­ing a doc­tor about his transvestism. ‘He didn’t have a clue; he just thought I was gay.’

When he left school for a place at Portsmouth Poly, to study fine ar t, his step­fa­ther told him not to come back.

Re­flect­ing now, Perr y can see that his step­fa­ther’s emo­tional and phys­i­cal vi­o­lence were the prod­ucts of his own dys­func­tional back­ground – ‘prob­a­bly much worse than I ex­pe­ri­enced’. Perry has not spo­ken to him for 30 years. Does he know where he lives? He laughs. ‘Roughly…’ And his fa­ther? They talk ‘oc­ca­sion­ally’, he says, be­fore amend­ing that to ‘an­nu­ally’. Pause. ‘When I hap­pen to be in the area...’

He pauses. ‘It’s tricky. A point came when I was quite young, where I felt I was the par­ent… and then you kind of ask, “What’s in this for me?”’

His mot her d ied la st yea r. ‘And I was quite shocked by how un­sad I was in some ways. I just thought it was a real waste. Again, an­other per­son who was a prod­uct of their fam­ily.’

He be­lieves his un­happy child­hood must have

had some­thing to do with his transvestism. ‘I cer­tainly don’t be­lieve there’s any ge­netic cause for it. How can you have a ge­netic cause for want­ing to put on a bra?’ He roars his Sid James laugh. ‘That’s fairly un­likely, isn’t it? That’s a pretty spe­cific gene if there is one.

‘I think you go through your child­hood and you kind of col­lect ex­pe­ri­ences like to­kens, and then at pu­berty you cash them in at the counter and they go, “Um, yeah, you’re prob­a­bly a tranny,” and give you a li­cence; or you’re gay or what­ever.

‘There may be some pre­dis­po­si­tion about gen­der dys­pho­ria gen­er­ally, and maybe transvestism is a part of that. But I don’t feel part of the trans com­mu­nity par­tic­u­larly; I’m a man who likes putting on dresses. I’m ver y happy be­ing male. I like putting on dresses.’

For a long time, he says, his transvestism was ‘like be­ing on a desert is­land. I never knew any­body did it. I never even knew it ex­isted. I knew it wasn’t some­thing you boasted about in the play­ground, though.’

It wasn’t un­til he was in his late teens that he met other trans­ves­tites, through a group called The Beau­mont So­ci­ety. ‘It’s an in­ter­est­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to meet an­other trans­ves­tite for the first time. You look at them and go, “Oh God, that’s what

I look like!”’ He af­fects a hor­ri­fied whis­per. ‘“I’m one of them! A funny man in a dress!” But at the same time it’s lovely to meet other guys who are the same, par­tic­u­larly the ones I met who were con­fi­dent and blissed-out about it.’ Two chaps, he re­mem­bers, had ‘been sail­ing out on the So­lent, dressed up’.

One thing he no­ticed, he says, is that you put a man in a dress and he may step out of his gen­der, but never out of his class.

‘Be­ing a tranny cuts a ver y clean line through t he de­mog raphic – t he sa me as ho­mo­sex­u­alit y does, prob­a­bly. If there’s 20 per cent of peo­ple who are dyed-in-the-wool work­ing class, then 20 per cent of tran­nies will be dyed-in-the-wool work­ing class. I’ve met judges, lorry driv­ers and ev­ery­body in be­tween.’ As he points out, one of the nice things about be­ing a trans­ves­tite is, ‘you get to meet peo­ple you never would oth­er­wise’.

The scene was much more clan­des­tine then, he says, and anony­mous. He needed a pseu­do­nym, and it was his girl­friend who said, ‘you’re a Claire’. ‘I went, yeah, what­ever…’

Early pho­to­graphs sug­gest that you could have passed Claire in the street with­out look­ing twice. But in 2001 Perry staged a ‘com­ing out’ party for his friends, dressed in the Lit­tle Bo Peep satin dress that would be­come Claire’s sig­na­ture look. He gave a speech, in which he de­scribed feel­ing ‘com­pelled to dress like this by a part of my­self that is bur sting to find ex­pres­sion, apart of me that is vul­ner­a­ble, softer, gen­tler, won­drous, in­no­cent, even sweet’. It was this Claire who two years later stepped up to re­ceive t he Turner Prize. As Perry put it, it was about time a trans­ves­tite pot­ter won the Turner.

Af­ter his win, he says, one na­tional news­pa­per tried to ‘in’ him – ‘the op­po­site of out­ing me’ – by sug­gest­ing he wasn’t a‘ real’ trans­ves­tite .‘ They found some­one I’d been at school with, who said that I hadn’t dressed up at school,’ he laughs. ‘“These artists ... maybe he’s just do­ing it for the pub­lic­ity.”’

Rather the truth is that he is both an un­abashed ex­hi­bi­tion­ist and to­tally sin­cere. As a well-known artist and broadcaster, he says, Claire is apart of him‘ that has come along for the ride. It’ s a good pub­li­cre­la­tions wing. You use what­ever as­set you can–PR is part of the mod­ern cul­tural world. It’s a very com­pet­i­tive, crowded land­scape now. A lot of artists turn their nose up at it. But ev­ery­body wants a bit of at­ten­tion for what they do, or why do they do it? Why do you write, pho­to­graph, act? You want a bit of at­ten­tion.’

These days, he doesn’t have the time for what he calls ‘leisure tran­ny­ing’: dress­ing up for him­self and go­ing out to the shops. Claire tends to come out only for ex­hi­bi­tion open­ings, par­ties, dinners. ‘If ev­ery­body’s think­ing, I’d bet­ter smarten up for this, then that’s when I dress up. But I have a very low bar. I’ll dress up for any­thing.’

A keen cy­clist, he will of ten cy­cle to events dressed as Claire. Peo­ple will say hello at traffic lights ,‘ and it’s all very jolly. Of course, I’m no longer this anony­mous per­vert, which was part of the fun of it.’ This is said with a tinge of re­gret. Start­ing in his late30s,Per­ryun der­went six years of psy­chother­apy. This was partly to help him come to terms with his transvestism( al­though talk­ing with him you sense that pub­lic af­fir­ma­tion has been the best ther­apy he could have had), and partly to curb what he de­scribes as ‘a raft of bad habits’ that he’d in­her­ited from his up­bring­ing. The worst of them was anger. He was a par ti cu-

‘Of course, I’m no longer this anony­mous per­vert – which was part of the fun of it’

larly ter­ri­ble road-rager if ever some­one cut him up on his mo­tor­bike, he says. ‘And you prob­a­bly wouldn’t want to do it now if I was on my bi­cy­cle. I wouldn’t get phys­i­cal, but I’d cer­tainly give some­one a tongue-lash­ing. But I’ve never hit any­body.’ He has also purged him­self of be­ing what he calls ‘blamey’. ‘There’s a phrase I used to come out with some­times, “Oh this is typ­i­cal of my life...” There’s that di­vide be­tween peo­ple who think the world hap­pens to them, and peo­ple who think they have agency in the world. And I used to think that the world hap­pened to me much more.

‘It’s that sort of em­bit­tered, vic­timy, work­ing-class trait. I’m not tar­ring the whole of the work­ing classes with that. But from my back­ground it’s a very typ­i­cal thing :“It’ s THEM! They’re re­spon­si­ble for what’s hap­pen­ing to me.” I think that anger is of­ten about help­less­ness. I’ve got nowhere else to go but to ex­plode. And now I don’t feel help­less, of course; now I have a rel­a­tive amount of power.’

It would prob­a­bly sur­prise no one that Perry’s wife, Philippa, is a psy­chother­a­pist. They met in 1987, at a cre­ative-writ­ing class, when she was still train­ing. On one of their first out­ings to­gether he took her to a trans­ves­tite club. ‘It wasn’t an is­sue,’ he says. ‘She walked in with her eyes open on that one.’ ( ‘I knew he’d be dressed up be­cause he told me,’ she once re­called of pick­ing him up at his house. ‘But when he an­swered the door, I thought, “My God, who is this per­son? Why is he liv­ing with a mid­dle-aged woman?” And I found it amaz­ing when he said, “No, it’s me.”’)

They have a daugh­ter, Florence, 25, a jour­nal­ist, who f rom a n ea rly age took his t ra nsvest ism in her stride – theirs is a house­hold, Perr y once said, where t here have never been se­crets – and wit h whom he has ‘a bril­liant re­la­tion­ship’. How would he have fared with a son? He laughs. ‘It would have been in­ter­est­ing…’

Was it Philippa who sug­gested he should have some ther­apy?

He laughs. ‘Prob­a­bly. I think I’ve been very lucky in that not only did I have ther­apy for six years, but I live with a ther­a­pist, so you have con­stant sur veil­lance go­ing on and you’re talk­ing all the time. My wife de­scribes san­ity as driv ing down a wind­ing road where one ditch is chaos and the other ditch is rig id­ity, but you can never take your hand off the wheel. So it’s a con­stant process of top­ping up.’

Perr y took up pot­ter y in the early 1980s, af ter leav­ing art school. He was on the dole, liv­ing in a squat in Lon­don – at one time he shared a house with Boy Ge­orge, when he was just Ge­orge O’dowd – ex­per­i­ment­ing with film and some­times ap­pear­ing at New Ro­man­tic clubs with a per­for­mance-art group called the Neo Na­tur­ists, whose act in­cor po­rated nu­dity and the de­ploy ment of body paint and veg­eta­bles. Pot­tery was small and saleable, if wildly un­fash­ion­able – ‘It kind of be­mused the art world to do it,’ he says. ‘“Pot­tery?” And it took maybe the first 15 years of my ca­reer be­fore peo­ple ac­cepted it. I think it was be­cause I didn’t make ce­ramic sculp­tures. I made sure I was work­ing within the tra­di­tion.’ (Ce­ram­ics, he says, is ‘some­thing I know quite a lot about’.)

I had met Perr y once be­fore, at an ar ts fes­ti­val held in the g rounds of a g rand countr y house. We were in a group be­ing shown around the house by its owner, Perry in ‘full Claire’. There was a large col­lec­tion of an­tique porce­lain, and he had ev­ery­one in the palm of his hand, talk­ing knowl­edge­ably about t he maker a nd date of each piece. A man in a frock and pink Mary Janes lec­tur­ing on Meis­sen. It was an odd mo­ment.

Pot­tery, he says ,‘ can be re­ally hard work’, but he likes noth­ing bet­ter than a work­ing day in his stu­dio when he knows ex­actly what he needs to do, in­volv­ing an el­e­ment of skill and creativ­ity, ‘but with­out hav­ing to make any ma­jor or dif­fi­cult de­ci­sions’.

‘My ideal would be pat­tern­ing some­thing – ra­dio on, dib, dib, dib, nice day... It’s flow, and psy­chol­o­gists who talk about hap­pi­ness say that flow is the per­fect state to be in. You need to have the skill, and it might take you 10,000 hours to get to the point where you can do it, but then you do it with­out any ef­fort.’

His early work was highly au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal, re­flect­ing his life and his ob­ses­sions, dec­o­rat­ing his ce­ram­ics with mo­tifs of child­hood trauma, provoca­tive slo­gans – ‘Ig­no­rant and cruel mother’, ‘All men are bas­tards’ – and ex­plicit sex­ual im­agery. He once de­clared that one of his am­bi­tions was to make the pe­nis ‘as pop­u­lar a dec­o­ra­tive mo­tif as the flower’.

But in re­cent years he has moved away from the per­sonal to wider so­cial and cul­tural themes. ‘I’ve done me,’ he says. ‘I’ve got it out of my sys­tem to a cer­tain ex­tent, and now it’s all

He once de­clared his am­bi­tion to make the pe­nis ‘as pop­u­lar a dec­o­ra­tive mo­tif as the flower’

about look­ing out into the world. That’s just the way I’ve gone.’

I ask to see some of the work for the new ex­hi­bi­tion. He walks to a drawer and pulls out a print of the orig­i­nal art­work for a giant ta­pes­try, de­pict­ing a land­scape of mod­ern Bri­tain, wind-tur­bines, a mo­tor­way with a Waitrose lorry driv­ing in one di­rec­tion, and a Pol­ish lorry driv­ing the other way, an en­camp­ment that could be a mini-jun­gle, Brexit graf­fiti, an in­con­gru­ous frag­ment of a Breughel paint­ing (‘that’s a lit­tle sop to my own tastes. And mid­dle-class peo­ple love an ar this­tor­i­cal ref­er­ence, of course’), and an over­ar­ch­ing rain­bow.

‘Nowa­days that means LGBT to lots of peo­ple. I can imag­ine some young per­son in the not too dis­tant fu­ture... the rain’s passed on a sum­mer’ s af­ter­noon, point­ing up at the sky ... “Look, Mum! That cloud’s LGBT!” “No dar­ling, that’s a rain­bow…”’ He guf­faws loudly.

The cen­tre­pieces of the ex­hi­bi­tion are two mon­u­men­tal vases, which stand in his stu­dio, await­ing the fin­ish­ing touches: one for Brex iteers a nd one for Re­main­ers. They were crafted by Perry af­ter can­vass­ing peo­ple on both sides of the di­vide; ask­ing them, through so­cial me­dia, to con­trib­ute images of them­selves and their heroes, ob­jects, ideas and phrases – his own ref­er­en­dum.

The results were deeply re­veal­ing – and of­ten sur­pris­ing. Both sides chose the teapot as their dom­i­nant sym­bol, and the BBC as their favourite brand. Both sides chose Mar­mite – ‘but that’s quite ap­po­site re­ally. Peo­ple love it or hate it ’– and, rather more sur­pris­ingly, David Bowie. The NHS fea­tured strongly among Re­main­ers, but not among Brex­i­teers. Re­main­ers chose Jo Cox, David At­ten­bor­ough and Barack Obama. Brex iteers chose the Queen, Nigel Farage, Wal­ter Raleigh, Ed­ward El­gar and – per­haps most sur­pris­ingly of all – Vivi­enne West­wood.

‘I think that’s what’s in­ter­est­ing about the whole de­bate that’s been go­ing on: that the metropoli­tan lib­eral has had to take a dose of smelling salts,’ Perry says. ‘And for me, as a metropoli­tan lib­eral, that’s been quite in­ter­est­ing.’ And as a metropoli­tan lib­eral, did he vote Leave or Re­main? ‘I can’t pos­si­bly say.’ He guf­faws. ‘I’ve got to re­main ab­so­lutely neu­tral.’ But I think we can guess.

As an artist, he says, he has been gen­uinely ex­cited by Brexit, and by Trump. He likes noth­ing bet­ter than a bit of fric­tion, hav­ing his views chal­lenged and up­set – ‘If some­one con­vinces me I’m wrong, I love it! I love it!’ In a speech last year at a Cre­ative In­dus­tries Fed­er­a­tion event, he called for rightwing artists to be wel­comed into the main­stream to chal­lenge ‘the same old com­fort­able ideas’.

‘Well, I don’t know if I wished there were more,’ he says now with a laugh ,‘ but I do think it’ s very in­ter­est­ing that the art world – cul­ture in gen­eral – is seen as a left-of-cen­tre ac­tiv­ity. Per­haps that’ s the nat­u­ral pro­cliv­ity of a cre­ative per­son, I don’t know.

‘I thought it was in­ter­est­ing that one of the most ar­rest­ing state­ments in the art world over the last few years was Tracey Emin say­ing she voted Tory. She’s very proudly work­ing class in many ways, and that maybe part of it–work­ing-class per­son done good. Maybe slightly re­sents pay­ing a lot of tax...’ He laughs. ‘Not used to it.’

It is notable, he goes on, that while ‘art gal­leries are al­ways in­ter­ested in in­creas­ing their foot­fall, the peo­ple they never reach out to are blue-col­lar Tories’.

It is an odd­ity, and if any­one can change that, it’s Grayson Perry. The cli­max of all his tele­vi­sion pro­grammes is ‘the re­veal’, where Perry shows the sub­jects of his pro­grammes the art works aris­ing from their en­coun­ters. In the All Man se­ries, one of the most touch­ing mo­ments came when young mem­bers of a gang in Skelmers­dale, west Lan­cashire, whom he had filmed ear­lier – a gen­uinely un­set­tling ex­pe­ri­ence, he re­mem­bers – shuf­fled into a gallery space, hoods up, faces hid­den be­hind scarves, and looked at the works they had in­spired him to make (both of which are on show in the new Ser­pen­tine ex­hi­bi­tion ). One, a map of their coun­cil-es­tate ter­ri­tory, spat­tered with grafitti and a huge pe­nis; the other a brutalist ce­ramic sculp­ture of a fig­ure re­plete with base­ball cap, lo­gos and North Face hoodie, stuck with knives, screw­drivers, scis­sors–apiece that Perry called King of Nowhere. These were kids, he says, who don’t watch tele­vi­sion or read books, who cer­tainly don’t go to art gal­leries –‘ they don’t even go to Liver­pool. They live a very iso­lated life, and that’ s sad; their hori­zons are so closed down ’– gaz­ing at the art works with looks of cu­rios­ity, sur­prise, rev­e­la­tion and, fi­nally, un­qual­i­fied ap­proval.

‘For me, the great joy of do­ing what I do,’ Perry says, ‘and one of my most grat­i­fy­ing mo­ments, is when some­body who the art-gallery world would re­gard as anon-tra­di­tional au­di­ence – or not char­ac­terise as “a cul­ture per­son” – comes up to me and says, “I re­ally loved your show, or that art­work you did.”’

He pauses. Go­ing to art gal­leries, he says, ‘shouldn’t be like home­work. It’s a leisure act iv ity. Peo­ple might want some in­tel­lec­tual stim­u­la­tion, but they want to en­joy it. I see one of my pri­mary jobs as to de­light them, to give them some­thing they’ll re­ally en­joy look­ing at – sen­so­rily and nar­ra­tively. And if you chuck in some ideas that might be a lit­tle more un­com­fort­able along the way, then so be it.

‘The art world has an am­bigu­ous re­la­tion­ship with pop­u­lar­ity; it wants to feel ex­clu­sive, be­cause that gives its cul­tural prod­uct sta­tus with a cer­tain group, but at the same time it wants vis­i­tor fig­ures be­cause it has to jus­tify its pub­lic fund­ing. There’s a ten­sion there that they’re al­ways ne­go­ti­at­ing. All gal­leries will do the critic-pleas­ing, dif­fi­cult one, and then they’ll do the coach-party block­buster one; that’s how they op­er­ate. And I’m very in­ter­ested in that.’ In­ter­ested in be­ing a coach-party block­buster? That Sid James cackle. ‘I hope so!’

‘Go­ing to gal­leries shouldn’t be like home­work. I see one of my pri­mary jobs as to de­light peo­ple’

Art of pol­i­tics Perry with his Leave and Re­main vases (works in progress)

Rich and var­ied ta­pes­try Grayson Perry, Red Car­pet, 2017

Go­ing to pot Pieces in­spired by City bankers (left) and gang mem­bers from Perry’s TV se­ries All Man

Hers and hers Perry with wife Philippa at a Damien Hirst ex­hi­bi­tion at The Wal­lace Col­lec­tion in 2009

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