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Grayson
Perry

Discover art for sale. Buy and sell prints & editions online by contemporary artist Grayson Perry. The Turner Prize winning potter has become one of Britain's most widely admired contemporary artists.

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Biography

Turner prize winner, Royal Academician and CBE Grayson Perry (and his alter-ego Claire) is best known for his quirky, politically engaged pottery.

I Want To Be An Artist by Grayson Perry

Image © Christie's / I Want To Be An Artist © Grayson Perry 1996

1. £632,750 for Grayson Perry's I Want To Be An Artist

Establishing his place as a key player in the contemporary art world with these earlier ceramic works, Perry’s acidic yellow vase sold for £632,750 at Christie's London in October 2017, making it the most expensive of his creations.

One of the very first works sold by the artist, the vase is covered with images of famous artists - including the large Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat, created via photo-transfer. It is a dedication to Perry’s own favourite artists.

This work sets a precedent for a dissonance between the traditional medium of pottery and contemporary subject matter and decoration. - a contrast Perry consistently employs in his ceramic works. What appears to be a largely bright and cheerful ceramic is made darker when one looks closer and sees the skeleton reminding us of Basquiat's untimely death.

The Guardians by Grayson Perry

Image © Christie's / The Guardians © Grayson Perry 1998

2. £443,250 for Grayson Perry's The Guardians

Dubbed by Perry himself as his most ‘literally autobiographical work,’ The Guardians is a pair of ornamental-looking vases that remain one of the artist’s most personal, touching creations. The ‘guardians’ themselves sit atop these large vases and depict Perry’s mother and step-father, neither of whom he had a particularly easy relationship with.

A reflection on the traumas of his own childhood, the pair sold for £443,250 at Christie’s London on 4th October 2019. Despite the more generic visual nods to classical chinoiserie and christian iconography, particularly with the use of gold, these vases are essentially self-portraits, littered with glimpses of the artist’s life. They are currently held by ceramic collectors Diane and Marc Grainer.

Barbaric Splendour by Grayson Perry

Image © Christie's / Barbaric Splendour © Grayson Perry 2003

3. £224,750 for Grayson Perry's Barbaric Splendour

Included as part of Perry’s Turner Prize Exhibition, Barbaric Splendour takes its name from a phrase from Ernst Gombrich’s A sense of Order. As is to be expected, the vase itself, while decorative at first glance, is a vessel for Perry’s contemporary social commentary. Upon closer inspection, puddles, crowded social housing and a largely sombre palette create the backdrop of a Northern working town, where the figure of the young artist himself stands amongst the scenery.

Sold for £224,750 at Christie’s London on March 6th 2018, this work has gained notoriety since its first exhibition. As always, the conflict between ideas of class and the decorative arts is brought to the fore by the artist’s choice of subject matter. The decorative arts demand our attention, the times where indulgence in the ornate was ‘morally inferior’ are over.

Saint Claire 37 Wanks Across Northern Spain by Grayson Perry

Image © Christie's / Saint Claire 37 Wanks Across Northern Spain © Grayson Perry 2003