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The Turner Prize 2003

Death, decay, disgust - after last year's low-key affair, no one could accuse the Turner Prize 2003 of being short on provocation.
In the end the Chapman brothers were passed over for the Prize and a people's favourite emerged as the winner.
Our reviewer Carol Murphy profiles Grayson Perry...

Grayson Perry aka 'Claire'

Click here for the other Turner Prize nominees: Anya Gallaccio>>, Willie Doherty>> and Jake & Dinos Chapman>>

Grayson PerryBeginnings: born in Chelmsford in 1960. Studied at Braintree College of Further Education and at Portsmouth Poytechnic.

Past form: in the early 80s he was part of the Neo-Naturist group and took part in performance and film works. Makes work in a variety of media from embroidery to photography. Best known for his
ceramic pieces and for the fact that he is also a transvestite called
Claire. His work has tended in the past to fall between the stools of craft and fine art while his alter ego straddles performance and persona. Perry is a humanist and wants to "stop the cycle of society becoming horrible".

Installation view of Grayson Perry's work in the Turner Prize 2003
Installation view of Grayson Perry's work in the Turner Prize 2003. Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro Gallery (London)

Nominated this year for: Claire’s Coming Out Dress (2000) and
his vases, which depict the underbelly of Essex life. The vases feature unlikely, surreal subject matter such as the working class male and images of child abuse.

Claire's Coming Out Dress by Grayson Perry
Coming Out Dress (2000). Cotton and rayon. Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro Gallery

The inside view: Claire is giving the Chapmans a run for their money. Not for what she/he calls the 'banal violence' depicted on his vases - which up the ante in the 'taboo factor' stakes - but for the pink genital bows of his/Claire’s dress. On the comments board someone wrote "I love you Claire".

Ever hear from again?: could be a flash in the pan but is very popular with the public.

We say: Perry's work is at risk of being overpowered by the personality and va va voom factor of Claire. To be fair, she does feature in the performance elements of his work.

The Turner Prize 2003 is at Tate Britain, Millbank, London SW1.Tel: 020 7887 8000. Daily 10.00 - 17.50 until 11 January 2004
Web: Tate Britain
(The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites)

Now go on to Anya Gallaccio>> or Willie Doherty>> or Jake & Dinos Chapman>> or go to our Galleries index for more on London's visual arts scene

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