I’ve been lucky enough to see Grayson Perry’s work in the flesh and it’s gorgeous — and not only gorgeous, but disturbing, thought-provoking, funny — everything art should be and usually isn’t. I often think about his 2006 exhibition, The Charms of Lincolnshire, in which he juxtaposed his huge painted pots with items from grim 19th century rural England.

“The biscuit tin idyll of cosy village Britain is luckily in the past, for it was a candlelit, back-breaking, sexist, tubercular child-death hell,” commented the artist on his show.

Around London, at least, Perry is probably even better known for his alter-ego, Claire, than for his artwork. Claire wears elaborate little girl frocks straight out of Mother Goose — like this one that Perry wore to meet the Queen. “I’m probably the first tranny at the Palace, although one or two may have slipped through unnoticed,” he said.

Well, good on the Queen, I say.  What a very cool monarch she is.  Can you imagine any US president being formally introduced to a flamboyant transvestite? Bill Clinton, possibly. Or Ronald Reagan, who might not have noticed anything amiss.

I’ve seen Perry out and about in London a few times, and his dresses are astonishing beautiful, weird creations.  As is he.

As is the nation that treasures such eccentricity. And the queen who enquired about his job, presumably without blinking.  And Perry’s psychotherapist wife, whose line on her husband’s dress sense is: “As obsessions go, it’s better than football.”

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4 thoughts on “Grayson Perry: One more reason to love England.

  1. Lois Freidman 6 years ago

    Another totally clever blog from Meg. They should be put into a book for everyone to enjoy. Why not–waste not??

    1. Meg 6 years ago

      I know a Lois Friedman…any relation? She suggested Blogarithms for the collection. Great title…..

  2. Kirsten Baron 6 years ago

    So true, Meg. I think only us immigrants really appreciate the joys of living in the UK. For example, a Hungarian glass artist in Redhill told me that he loves England for its hedgerows & chimneypots.

    Oh, and I agree with Lois above about the quality of this blog (it’s the only one I read, and when you didn’t post anything for a few days, I kept checking forlornly. Must get a life one of these days.)

    1. Meg 6 years ago

      Thank you, Kirsten. So nice to hear from readers. Blogging does feel a bit like talking to one’s self a lot of the time!
      And I’m with your friend about hedgerows & chimneypots.

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