For those of you reading this bout with anomia you probably don’t know me well enough to form an honest opinion. But I’ve been saying for years that finding nuggets among contemporary artists is much like panning for gold! You’ve got to rinse through hundreds of thousands of gallons of water to find work worthy of praise. A Renaissance man to be sure, Grayson Perry just might be that nugget.
A “Turner Prize” winner, the UK’s most prestigious art award, he describes himself as an “Essex transvestite Potter.” He creates these ancient Greek looking vessels and uses them as what I can only describe as canvases. While calling most contemporary art “rubbish” he doesn’t seem to mind the attention he’s getting as a contemporary artist.
You may want to stop and go get a pencil and paper to write this down….I’ll wait….. I find those artists who’ve gained some level of notoriety to be quick to call other’s work “rubbish.” While dwelling atop Maslow’s Pyramid well fed looking down at the masses it becomes an easy task to be wonderfully outraged by the shoddy wanna-be’s huddled together around the bottom tier. A friend (doesn’t like anyone) of mine on a good day describes people who become famous or otherwise recognized for something, generally “tend to fly up their own assholes!” This reference to self-inflicted wounds is a good one. We’ll keep an eye on Mr. Perry.
Don’t get me wrong, I love his work! But unfortunately he’s also become one of those artists that are self-absorbed with their own importance. But he did say, “Although we live in an era where anything can be art, not everything is art.” This statement in my feeble way of thinking would be completely counter to Andy Warhol’s ‘Pop’ culture where everything was indeed art.
But that’s art isn’t it? There seems to be no rules. I have the same Masters of Fine Art degree as a graduate several years before me. His entire thesis was to stretch multiple raw canvases of varying sizes and put them in the endless canyons in and around the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho. His resulting work was proudly displayed with bird shit, stains, gnawed corners, and a mud laden foreground! Jeez.
All this aside, it’s clear Grayson Perry is talented. His work is unique yet still draws you back to the Classical Greek Vase’s with their simple black profiled images engaged in what appears to be day to day activities mixed with the occasional wrestling match.
Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to ask Grayson if he’d like to trade one of his for one of mine!