Sunday, December 13, 2009

Grayson Perry: Fashion Illustrator

These fashion drawings are from English artist Grayson Perry, who I discovered on He sounds like a fascinating, but somewhat disturbed person. I found the following information about him on Wikipedia:

''Grayson Perry (born 1960) is an English artist, known mainly for his ceramic vases and cross-dressing. He works in several media.
There is a strong autobiographical element in his work, in which images of Perry as "Claire", his female alter-ego, often appear. He was awarded the Turner Prize in 2003 for his ceramics, receiving the prize dressed as Claire.

From an early age he liked to dress in women's clothes and in his teens realized that he was a transvestite. At the age of 15 he moved in with his father's family at Chelmsford, where he began to go out dressed as a woman. When he was discovered by his father he said he would stop, but his stepmother told everyone about it and a few months later threw him out. He returned to his mother and stepfather.

He did an art foundation course at Braintree College of Further Education from 1978 to 1979. He studied for a BA in fine art at Portsmouth Polytechnic, graduating in 1982.Wilson, Andrew. He had an interest in film and exhibited his first piece of pottery at the "New Contemporaries" show at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in 1980. In the months following his graduation he joined the "Neo-Naturists", a group started by Christine Binnie to revive the "true sixties spirit – which involves living one’s life more or less naked and occasionally manifesting it into a performance for which the main theme is body paint”. They put on events at galleries and other venues.

When he went to Portsmouth in 1979, his stepfather told him not to return home. Perry has been estranged from his mother since 1990. After graduating he lived a hand-to-m outh existence, at one point sharing a house with milliner Stephen Jones and pop musician Boy George; the three of them competing to see who could wear the most outrageous outfits to ''Blitz'', a New Romantic nightclub based in Covent Garden, London.

In his work Perry includes pictures of himself in women's clothes, for example, ''Mother of All Battles'' (1996) is a photograph of "Claire" holding a gun and wearing a dress, in ethnic eastern European style, embroidered with images of war, exhibited at his 2002 Stedelijk show.

One critic has called Perry “The social critic from hell”. "

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