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December 30, 2011
I was in the Guggenheim the other week, and was so adoring the Kandinskys, that I thought it would be great to learn more about him. I never understood the references to the musical instruments, I just always knew his work and style. so in learning about him, was fascinating.
I hope you like the post!
“Of all the arts, abstract painting is the most difficult. It demands that you know how to draw well, that you have a heightened sensitivity for composition and for colours, and that you be a true poet. This last is essential.” — Wassily Kandinsky
Wassily Kandinsky is considered to be the originator of abstract art, and believed that art could visually express musical compositions. Merry Structure by Wassily Kandinsky,
Kandinsky, himself an accomplished musician, once said “Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul.” The concept that color and musical harmony are linked has a long history,
intriguing scientists such as Sir Isaac Newton. Kandinsky used color in a highly theoretical way associating tone with timbre (the sound’s character), hue with pitch, and saturation with the volume of sound. He even claimed that when he saw color he heard music.
December 28, 2011
I saw the most amazing bag from Dior! who, in Paris, always has amazingly sometimes really cutting edge clothing. Well, the new bag which is camouflage is by none other then ANSELM REYLE! Talk about a bad boy artist, who likes to
deliberately push the boundaries knowing all well he can
make the viewer uncomfortable, keeps at it! My kind of artist!
So, today’s post, is on his fabulous work!
Berlin artist Anselm Reyle, who was inspired early in his career by the agitprop of eighties punk graphics, understands the power of provocation. His best work—collected by art and fashion heavyweights like Charles Saatchi and Peter Marino—
is knowingly over-the-top, existing somewhere between
über kitsch and the sublime: hard-edge striped canvases made in glossy auto paint and glitter; monumental assemblages of silver foil, pulsating LEDs, and flashy fluorescent drips. “I like the idea of bringing stereotypical and sometimes banal forms into new contexts,” says Reyle, who lately has been producing
neon paint-by-number pieces of ponies and kittens. “I am interested in irritating the viewer’s eye.”
Irritating or not, his art certainly caught the attention of Delphine Arnault, Dior’s deputy general manager, who, after seeing some of his pieces at the Almine Rech Gallery in Paris, tapped Reyle to collaborate with the fashion house.
December 21, 2011
I would have to say that MAN RAY has been one of my favorite photographers for many years. And any chance I have to see some of his work I run to it! His life history is really wonderful and the influences he experienced quite fascinating. I hope you enjoy his work, as I am sure many of you have seen it before.
Man Ray is foremost known as a fashion photographer, but he actually had a successful career as an artist as well. His politely avant-garde photographs for Vogue and other magazines make up the brunt of his notoriety in within the mainstream world. Yet, in the overall chronology of his artistic career the commissioned
photography of his later career seems like a second (much less important) career.
Man Ray first came on to the radar when he began to associate with Marcel Duchamp in New York. A Jewish-American, he was born in Brooklyn in 1890. They met in 1915, when Duchamp made one of his many visits there from his stomping ground, Paris. The young artist’s first introduction to the art of the moment came in 1913 in the
form of the Armory show, at which the most subversive European artists including Duchamp and Francis Picabia (and less impressive American) exhibited their work. Two years, Man Ray became Duchamp’s right-hand man in launching the short-lived Dada movement in New York.
Duchamp’s influence became key in Man Ray’s development as an artist. Man Ray became Duchamp’s first (and only, until the Post-Modernist movement) follower when he produced his own readymade sculpture in the vein of Duchamp’s Fountain. In 1921 Man Ray came to Paris to officially become part of the European Dadaists.
He settled in Montparnasse, and was introduced to the Paris collective by Duchamp.
Perhaps Man Ray’s most enduring photograph, a visual analogy likening the shape of a woman’s backside to that of a violin.
Man Ray slowly made the transition from sculpture and painting to photography. It began to emerge as his true passion even in the 1910s, but Man Ray did not make it his sole pursuit until the late 1930s. In the transition he made several decidedly-Surrealist works.
Man Ray gained repertoire quickly, and was unceremoniously accepted by the Paris Dadaists/Surrealists, a group with exorbitant admission standards. His notoriety allowed him the privilege to photograph many of the key artists of the time, such as Marcel Duchamp and Andre Beton (the leader of the Surrealist movement).
In 1934 he had a liaison with Meret Oppenheim of the fur tea-cup fame, and photographed her nude in a classic artist-and-muse scenario.
From the time he began attracting attention as an artist until his death more than sixty years later, Man Ray allowed little of his early life or family background to be known to the public, even refusing to acknowledge that he ever had a name other than Man Ray.
Man Ray was born Emmanuel Radnitzky in South Philadelphia,Pennsylvania USA in 1890, the eldest child of recent Russian Jewish immigrants. The family would eventually include another son and two daughters, the youngest born shortly after they settled in the Willaimsburg section of Brooklyn, New York in 1897. In early 1912,
the Radnitzky family changed their surname to Ray, a name selected by Man Ray’s brother, in reaction to the ethnic discrimination and anti-Semitism prevalent at that time. Emmanuel, who was called “Manny” as a nickname, changed his first name to Man at this time, and gradually began to use Man Ray as his combined single name.
Man Ray’s father was a garment factory worker who also ran a small tailoring business out of the family home, enlisting his children from an early age. Man Ray’s mother enjoyed making the family’s clothes from her own designs and inventing patchwork items from scraps of fabric.[ Despite Man Ray’s desire to disassociate himself from his family background,
this experience left an enduring mark on his art. Tailor’s dummies, flat irons, sewing machines, needles, pins, threads, swatches of fabric, and other items related to clothing and sewing appear at every stage of his work and in almost every medium. Art historians have also noted similarity in his collage and painting techniques to those used in making clothing.
December 20, 2011
Following my post on NICOLE COHEN and my love of super talented young artists, I have recently been introduced to CAROLINE WRIGHT. Her paintings are incredible and I wanted to share them with you today!
I hope you follow her as her talent is so good.
Wright graduated from Brown in 2004, with a double major in Visual Art and Art History. After college, she moved to Paris to pursue fashion design, and ended up living in an art collective in an abandoned state
building in Belleville with artists from all over the world.
With a crowbar, Wright renovated a studio out of several secretarial offices that had been locked since the 80s. Each weekend there was an interminable réunion on such issues as where the “seat of the administration” should be (the kitchen).
The inhabitants defended their
project on a regular basis to the mayor of Paris, and as the youngest in the group and the only American, Wright also defended herself while confronting many cultural differences. Living, working, and upholding her vision and that of the group
imprinted the possibility of a life supported by and for art-making.
December 19, 2011
I have always been in love with photography, as you know. I have recently become acquainted with the work of NADAR TOURNACHON and his brother ADRIEN TOURNACHON. This post is on Nadar and what I have learned about him I do hope you enjoy his work as I fell in love with his style.
Have a great day! Love,
To the question—“Who do you think is the world’s greatest photographer?”—French essayist Roland Barthes provided a simple, one-word answer: “Nadar.” And in the history of French photography in the nine- teenth century, there are few who rival the artistry and output of this
man who lived for eighty years of the nineteenth century and ten of the twentieth century.
Nadar’s notoriety in photography came after successful careers first in writing and publishing and then in caricature. Based in Paris, Nadar met and communed with a large circle of late-Romantic artists and writers, as well as the radical social thinkers of the time. This circle considered
itself bohemian and in opposition to anything bourgeois; it was politically and socially liberal and believed in the importance of art, personal integrity, and freedom of self-expression.
Nadar’s turn to portrait photography appears to be a natural progression from his work in caricature. Already focused on capturing the essence of individuals’ physi- ognomy through drawing and then mass producing the caricatures through lithography, Nadar possessed the aesthetic
and interpersonal skills to use the medium of photography to its best advantage. Not only did he study with a photographer producing the finest-quality prints in Paris in 1854, but he also had a ready-made clientele, as well as name recognition. His circle of acquaintances was very broad, and
many up-and-com- ing and established artists, writers, and social activists had already sat for Nadar. One of two extant albums that Nadar used for guests to sign when sitting for their portraits comprises over 400 names (with accompanying commentaries or samples of drawing, music, or poetry)
of the most famous individuals working in music, art, poetry, fiction, politics, and the military in a twenty-year period between the mid-1850s and the early 1870s.
December 17, 2011
Even though it’s not St. Patrick’s Day, I can not wait until March to cook one of my favorite meals! To start, brown scones, corned beef cabbage with parsley-mustard sauce, followed by chocolate-stout cake with Guinness ice cream
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
3 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons baking powder
9 tablespoons unslated butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 375 degree Fahrenheit
Place the flours, sugar, and baking powder in a food processor, and process 30 seconds, until well combined.
Add the butter and pulse about 10 times, until the mixture is a coarse meal.
With the machine running, quickly pour in 1 cup of the buttermilk. Stop the machine as soon as the dough comes together. It’s important not to overwork the dough.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and bring it together with your hands into a large ball. Divide the dough into three pieces, and shape each of them into 5-inch-wide disc. Cut each disc into quarters.
Brush the tops of the scones with a little buttermilk. Place on a lightly buttered baking sheet and bake 25 minutes, until the scones are golden brown.
CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE WITH PARSLEY-MUSTARD SAUCE
One 6-pound corned-beef brisket
4 whole cloves
2 bay leaves, preferably fresh
1/2 bunch thyme
2 chiles de arbol
6 small carrots
9 golf ball-sized turnips
1 1/4 pounds yellow potatoes, peeled
1 medium green cabbage (about 2 pounds)
Parsley-mustard sauce (recipe follows)
*NOTE: timing is important aspect of this meal. While the meat is resting, finish cooking the vegetables. Though you can prep the vegetables in advance, it’s the best to wait and cook them at the last moment.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F
Place the coned beef in a large deep pot and cover with water by 6 inches. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
Cut the onions in half lengthwise, peel them, and poke one clove into each half.
When the water comes to a boil, turn off the heat and add the onions, bay leaves, thyme, and chilies. Cover the pot with plastic wrap (yes, it can go in the oven), aluminum foil, and a tight-fitting lid if you have one.
Cook the corned beef in the oven 4 to 4 1/2 hours, until it’s fork-tender. (Carefully remove the foil and plastic and pierce the meat with a fork. If the fork doesn’t penetrate easily, the corned beef is not ready.)
While the beef is cooking, peel the carrots, leaving 1/2 inch of stem. Cut the carrots in half lengthwise. Trim the turnip tops, leaving 1/2 inch of stem attached. Cut the turnips in half through the stems. Cut the potatoes into 1-inch chunks. Remove any tough outer leaves from the cabbage and slice it in half through the core. Cut each cabbage half into three wedges, leaving the core intact to hold the leaves together.
When it’s done, remove the meat from the oven, let it cool in a few minutes, and transfer it to a baking sheet.
Turn the oven up to 375 degree F.
Return the meat to the oven for about 15 minutes, until it browns and crisps on top. Let the corned beef rest 10 to 15 minutes before slicing it. Meanwhile, skim the fat from the broth. (There probably won’t be very much.) Taste the broth. If it tastes good-not too salty but nicely seasoned and meaty-set half of the liquid aside in a medium saucepan. If the broth is salty, add a little water before setting half of it aside.
Add water to the broth in the large corned-beef cooking pot until you have enough liquid to poach the vegetables. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn the heat down to medium, and add the potatoes to the pot. Simmer 5 minutes and then add the cabage, turnips, and carrots. (If your pot is not big enough, divide the broth into two pots, adding more water if needed.) Simmer over low heat 15-20 minutes, until the vegetables are very tender. Test each type of vegetable occasionally, and if one is ready before the others, use tongs or a slotted spoon to take the vegetables out of the broth.
Taste the reserved broth and the vegetable-cooking broth. Combine them to your taste. If the vegetable broth tastes best, use it for the finished broth. If the vegetable broth is watery but has good flavor, add a little of it to the reserve broth, to you liking. Or, if you like the meat broth best, use it by itself.
Place the cabbage on a large warm platter. Slice the corned beef against the grain into 1/4-inch thick slices. Arrange the meat over the cabbage. Scatter the other vegetables over and around the platter. Pour over a good quantity of your chosen broth, and drizzle with the parsley-mustard sauce. Pass the extra broth and sauce at the table.
Place the shallots, vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl, and let sit 5 minutes. Pound the parsely with a mortar and pestle and add it to the shallots. Whisk in the mustard and olive oil, and season with a squeeze of lemon juice, a pinch of pepper and a pinch more salt, if you like. Be careful not to over season, since the corned beef may be on the salty side.
CHOCOLATE-STOUT CAKE WITH GUINNESS ICE CREAM
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 cup Guinness stout
1 cup molasses
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3 extra-large eggs
1/2 cup dark-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon unsalted butter, softened
Guiness ice cream (recipe follows)
Preheat the oven to 350 degree F
Sift the flour, cocoa powder, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg together into a large mixing bowl.
Pour the beer and molasses into a medium pot, whisk together, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat, and whisk in the baking soda. Don’t be surprised when it foams up.
In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and both sugars, mixing well to combine. Whisk in the oil, and then the beer mixture.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in the liquid ingredients, whisking slowly until just incorporated. Be careful not to overmix or the cake will be tough.
Pour batter into a lightly buttered Bundt pan and bake 30 minutes. The cake is done when it begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and the top surface is just starting to crack. When you insert a skewer into the center, it should come out mostly clean. To kepp the cake moist, cover it with a dry kitchen towel as it cools. After 30 minutes, invert the cake onto a platter.
Serve slices of the cake with scoops of the Guinness ice cream.
GUINNESS ICE CREAM
1/2 vanilla bean
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup Guimmess stout
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons molasses
3 extra large egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Split the vanilla bean in halt lengthwise. Using a paring knife, scrape the seeds and pulp into a medium saucepan. Add the vanilla pod, milk, and cream, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Turn off the heat, cover and allow the flavors to infuse for 30 minutes.
While the cream is infusing, whisk the beer and molasses together in a small saucepan, bring to a boil, and then turn off the heat.
Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla extract together in a bowl. Whisk a few tablespoons of the warm cream mixture into the yolks to temper them. Slowly, add another 1/4 cup or so of the warm cream, whisking continuously. At this point you can add the rest of the cream mixture in a slow, steady stream, whisking continuously. Pour the mixture back into the pot, and return to the stove.
Stir the beer mixture into the cream and cook the custard over medium heat, 6 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently with a rubber spatula and scraping the bottom and sides of the pan. The custard will thicken and when it’s done wil the coat the back of the spatula. Strain the mixture, and chill at least 2 hours in the refrigerator. When the custard is very cold, process it in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
December 16, 2011
The time period of the 1950′s has never been my thing so to speak. I understand the industrial and understand the functional aspect as well as the utility aspect, but for me the sexy lines and feminine aspect were never there. BUT-there are some fabulous lines of iconic pieces that I totally appreciate, so today’s post is on a brilliant woman, artist and style setter. GRETA MAGNUSSON GROSSMAN
I hope you enjoy this post and have a great day!
Greta Magnusson Grossman (1906-1999) maintained a prolific forty-year career on two continents, Europe and North America, with achievements in industrial design, interior design and architecture.
The unique approach to Swedish modernism that she brought with her when she moved from Stockholm proved to be incredibly popular in the United States. She opened a much-publicized shop in Beverly Hills in 1940 selling her own designs billed on her business card as “Swedish modern furniture, rugs, lamps and other home furnishings.
” She attracted celebrity clients such as Greta Garbo, Joan Fontaine and Gracie Allen and began making connections that would lead to a number of projects both from her own shop and from Barker Brothers’ Modern Shop launched in 1947, for whom she was designing exclusive pieces and taking interior design commissions.
In the late 1940s Grossman designed a groundbreaking and successful line of lamps for Barker Brothers, later produced by Ralph O. Smith. These were among the first lamps to employ bullet shaped, directional shades and flexible arms. These lamps were included in the “GoodDesign” exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City ,
as was a chair she designed for Glenn of California.
December 15, 2011
When I was in Paris, my favorite gallery visit is always GALLERIE PERROTIN. This is where I first came across the work of AYA TAKANO. I have always enjoyed anime and was interested in the thoughts behind it. Sometimes, one could look at it and consider it too much a cartoon,
but for me, I find it inspiring. The images, the colors and the subjects.
I hope you enjoy this post!
Perhaps more than any other Kaikai Kiki artist, Takano’s work is the exemplification of Japan’s post-war cultural affluence, and its overwhelmingly diverse, yet aesthetic unification of information.
With inspirations varying from 14th Century Italian religious painting to alien evidence to MTV, Takano’s worlds are shiny and futuristic, yet soft and full of traditional and sensual imagery. Her drawings and paintings in which lively, female characters float and contort their waiflike bodies, convey a passionate drive toward creation.
In Japan, Takano is prolific as a manga artist, illustrator, and science fiction essayist. She has several serialized publications, and is regularly featured in subculture articles. In the art markets of Europe and America, her paintings and drawings are enthusiastically received.
Takano spent her childhood rummaging through her father’s library which consisted of many books on the natural sciences, but also science fiction. Ever present in her work are exotic animals and landforms combined with an urban city to show the juxtaposition between future and fantasy. Takano cited in a documentary made by
the Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin that she was always fascinated by the unusual forms of nature and animal life, and desires to have such shapes represented in her work.
Another early influence for her was manga writer Osamu Tezuka’s science fiction, which had a lasting impact on her dreamy perception of the world. She cites in the book Drop Dead Cute by Joan Vartanian how she really believed everything she read was true till she was nineteen. Takano states even sometimes now she imagines possessing
the ability to fly, uninterested in the constrictions of being grounded.
When it was time for her to start thinking about college Takano told her parents she wouldn’t attend unless she was allowed to enter an art program. She received a B.A. from Tama Art University in Tokyo in 2000. Soon after she became an assistant for leading Japanese Contemporary Artist Takashi Murakami. He would become
Takano’s first mentor and jump start her career.
Murakami was looking to exhibit the work of young artists and wanted to help create an artistic community for like minded artists who did the Superflat style. The Superflat movement, popularized by Murakami himself is about emphasizing the two dimensionality of figures, which is influenced by Japanses manga and anime,
while dually exposing the fetishes of Japanese consumerism. Through the basic ideas of this movement he created the Kaikai Kiki Co., a group where five out of the seven members are women.
In the 1980s the look of pre-pubescent girls became the target of consumer culture in Japanese society. This infantilization and objectification of the female was seen most heavily in Japan’s otaku, or geek culture.
Japanese female artists like Takano seek to reinvent the otaku culture through a feminine perspective. Takano in particular is interested in depicting how the future will impact the role of the female heroine in society. Her figures, often androgynous float through her alternate realities partially clothed or sometimes fully nude. Yet,
Takano denies that she is trying to reveal anything specific about sex. Rather with the slim bodies, bulbous heads, and large eyes she is trying to emphasize that her figures temporary suspension from adulthood. The red paint in the crevices of the figures’ elbows, knees, and shoulders is supposed to convey that they are still engaged in
the growing process mentally and physically. Takano’s playful and ambiguous visions of the future, especially one which revolves around the feminine serves as a way for her to create her own mythology, free from the chains of reality.
December 14, 2011
You know, as of late, I have been writing a lot about women artists. Photographers, painters, I love them all. I am so intrigued by peoples lives and their choices. We all take roads that sometimes we have no idea as to where they are going to lead, but something tells us we should be going down these paths that present themselves.
So I find myself drawn for whatever reason to seeking out these souls. Grace is one of them. When you read her lifestory and see her paintings you will see why I find them so fabulous. Or , I should say, I hope you do!
Enjoy this post,
Grace Hartigan, was a second-generation Abstract Expressionist whose gestural, intensely colored paintings often incorporated images drawn from popular culture, leading some critics to see in them prefigurings of Pop Art.
Ms. Hartigan, a friend and disciple of Jackson Pollack and William de Kooning , subscribed to the Abstract Expressionist notion of the painterly brushstroke as existential act and cri de coeur but, like de Kooning, she never broke entirely with the figurative tradition. Determined to stake out her own artistic ground,
she turned outward from the interior world sanctified by the Abstract Expressionists and embraced the visual swirl of contemporary American life.
In “Grand Street Brides” (1954), one of several early paintings that attracted the immediate attention of critics and curators, she depicted bridal-shop window mannequins in a composition based on Goya’s “Royal Family.” Later paintings incorporated images taken from coloring books, film, traditional paintings, store windows
and advertising, all in the service of art that one critic described as “tensely personal.”
“Her art was marked by a willingness to employ a variety of styles in a modernist idiom, to go back and forth from art-historical references to pop-culture references to autobiographical material.” Grace Hartigan was born in Newark in 1922 and grew up in rural New Jersey, the oldest of four children. Unable to afford college,
she married early and, in a flight of romantic fancy, she and her husband, Bob Jachens, struck out for Alaska to live as pioneers. They made it no farther than California, where, with her husband’s encouragement, she took up painting.
“I didn’t choose painting,” she later told an interviewer. “It chose me. I didn’t have any talent. I just had genius.”
In the mid-1940’s she left her husband, placed their son, Jeffrey, in the care of his parents and moved back to Newark, where she trained in mechanical drafting and took painting lessons with Isaac Lane Muse. After moving to the Lower East Side of Manhattan in 1945, she became part of the postwar New York artistic scene,
forming alliances with the Abstract Expressionist painters — although de Kooning reduced her to tears by telling her she completely misunderstood modern art —
Ms. Hartigan won fame early. In 1950, the critic Clement Greenberg and the art historian Meyer Schapiro included her in their “New Talent” show at the Kootz Gallery, and a one-woman exhibition at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery soon followed. “Persian Jacket,” an early painting, was bought for the Museum of Modern Art by Alfred Barr.
After starting out as a purely abstract painter, Ms. Hartigan gradually introduced images into her work. It was O’Hara’s blending of high art and low art in his poetry that influenced her to cast far and wide for sources.
Ms. Hartigan’s move to Baltimore coincided with a drastic shift in artistic fashion, as Pop Art and Minimalism eclipsed Abstract Expressionism. Out of the spotlight, Ms. Hartigan embarked on what she later recalled as “an isolated creative life.” For decades she painted in a loft in a former department store and taught at the Maryland Institute College of Art.
As historians and curators reassessed the history of postwar art, she experienced a resurgence of sorts. Her use of commercial imagery led her to be included in “Hand-Painted Pop,” a 1993 exhibition at the Whitney Museum despite her loathing for the movement.
“Pop Art is not painting because painting must have content and emotion,” she said in the 1960’s. On the other hand, she reflected at the time of the Whitney show, “I’d much rather be a pioneer of a movement that I hate than the second generation of a movement that I love.”
On an artistic path marked by twists and turns and restless experimentation, she maintained a fierce commitment to the modernist agenda and a belief in art’s near-magical powers.
“Or perhaps the subject of my art is like the definition of humor — emotional pain remembered in tranquillity.”
December 13, 2011
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I was introduced to the work of Grayson Perry who is an amazing potter, and tells his life story via his art. He is also a cross dresser with an alter ego that I found very interesting!
Grayson Perry, winner of the 2003 Turner Prize, uses the seductive qualities of ceramics and other art forms to make stealthy comments about societal injustices and hypocrisies, and to explore a variety of historical and contemporary themes. The beauty of his work is what draws us close. Covered with scraffito drawings,
handwritten and stencilled texts, photographic transfers and rich glazes, Perry’s detailed pots are deeply alluring. Only when we are up close do we start to absorb narratives that might allude to dark subjects such as environmental disaster or child abuse, and even then the narrative flow can be hard to discern.
The disparity between form and content and the relationship between the pots and the images that decorate them is perhaps the most challenging incongruity of Perry’s work. Yet, beyond the initial shock of an apparently benign or conservative medium carrying challenging ideas, what keeps us drawn to the work is its variety.
Perry is a great chronicler of contemporary life, drawing us in with wit, affecting sentiment and nostalgia as well as fear and anger. Autobiographical references – to the artist’s childhood, his family and his transvestite alter ego Claire – can be read in tandem with debates about décor and decorum and the status of the
artist versus that of the artisan, debates which Perry turns on their head.
Born in Chelmsford, Essex in 1960, Grayson Perry lives and works in London. Perry was the winner of the 2003 Turner Prize, and has had major solo exhibitions at Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg (2008), 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan (2007), Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh (2006),
Barbican Art Gallery, London (2002) and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2002). Grayson Perry has also curated two exhibitions - Unpopular Culture, de la Warr Pavilion (then touring) (2008) and The Charms of Lincolnshire, The Collection, Lincoln (2006).