Grayson Perry calls art world 'disengaged'

Grayson Perry Perry won the Turner prize in 2003

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Former Turner prize-winner Grayson Perry has called the art establishment disengaged "with the real world".

The cross-dressing artist, known for his often sexually explicit ceramic work, told the Radio Times: "There is no popular wing to it."

Citing Scottish painter Jack Vettriano and street artist Banksy, he said: "You won't find them hanging in the Tate."

Perry is curating an exhibition, The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman, at the British Museum until 19 February.

Perry, 51, whose female alter-ego often appears in his work told an audience at the museum that he gets most of his ideas "sitting in front of the telly with a beer, watching X Factor".

He also described Beryl Cook, whose whimsical paintings of buxom figures, as being more popular and recognisable than many of the artists featured in Britain's biggest galleries.

The artist, who has himself been exhibited at the Tate, was also dismissive of the patrons of the art world.

"I have a pot called Boring Cool People," he said. "It's decorated with pictures of the sort of people who go to contemporary art galleries."

"There is no popular wing to [the art world]," he added. "Banksy, Jack Vettriano, Beryl Cook. You won't find them hanging in the Tate. Almost because of the fact they are pop stars."

In 2003, the then-little known Banksy sneaked a painting into Tate Britain and managed to evade guards to hang it on a wall.

The picture consisted of a rural scene with an image of police tape stencilled on to it.

In 2004, Vettriano's best known painting, The Singing Butler, was sold for close to £750,000. He was also awarded an OBE for Services to the Visual Arts.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 47.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but much of the modern art in galleries is produced by those with the time, money and inclination to do so, and not necessarily based on skill. Public funded galleries should take the responsibility to show a diverse collection of work to cater for as many tastes as possible.

  • rate this

    Comment number 43.

    I can appreciate some modern art. I was in MOMA the other day and there was a simple piece which was a series of books with nothing but printed years from 1 million years ago where a human lifetime was a fraction of a single page, Gave a nice sense of perspective.

    The stuff I can't stand is the 'art' that's considered valuable for simply being 'shocking' and 'new' without really saying anything.

  • rate this

    Comment number 37.

    I agree. The art establishment is totally out of touch. I have a degree in Art and make a living selling my work. The kind of art supported by the art establishment is for the most part, barring a few exceptions a joke. The irony being it really is a load of rubbish. A tired old joke, corny, vacuous, boring, corrupt, nepotistic and a waste of tax payers money. A cash cow for "in-crowd" snobs.

  • rate this

    Comment number 33.

    So if he accepts artists are disengaged with the real world perhaps it will help them understand why most people who live in the real world and look at modern art think its a load of rubbish.


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