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Map Of An Englishman

Map Of An Englishman
Signed Print

Grayson Perry

Etching, 2004
Signed Print Edition of 50
H 110cm x W 149cm

Critical Review

Map Of An Englishman constitutes Perry’s first attempt at etching, a technique the artist took up repeatedly and which he mastered in this and following pieces like Print for a Politician or The Island Of Bad Art. The inspiration for the piece seems to have been The Map of Tenderness, published in London in 1678 as the frontispiece to the English edition of Madeleine de Scudéry's novel, Clelia, an Excellent New Romance.

Foreshadowing his Map of Nowhere and Map of Days, this work also maps Perry’s own internal states, presenting the viewer with a bidimensional outline of the artist’s psyche, his desires and his fears, dominated by the island of consciousness. To further reinforce the reading of the piece as a map of his psyche, the artist purposefully delineated the contours of the land to evoke the structure of the brain. When asked about the work, Perry blatantly replied: “A lot of people think it’s generally like an Englishman … It is an Englishman. It is me.”

Bringing together Perry’s interest in printmaking and maps, this map offers the viewer a highly intimate glance into the artist’s identity and speaks to the paradoxes of the human psyche.