Medal

The following examples of fine metalworks by Grayson Perry, include two medals created as multiples: Artist’s Medal, also known as his Teddy Bear Medal, and For Faith In Shopping. Produced ten years apart, both occasion public commissions and recycle traditional imagery—military portraiture and religious iconography— to satirise contemporary consumerism.

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Meaning & Analysis

The series of artworks grouped in Medal are some of the finest metalworks produced by Grayson Perry. The two medals, Artist’s Medal, also known as his Teddy Bear Medal, and For Faith In Shopping, were produced ten years apart, both on the occasion of public commissions. Perry has reached world fame through his tapestries and colourful ceramics, which seek to call attention to media drawn from the Classical tradition of Greek and Roman vase painting and tapestries and which have been left behind by art history, declassifying them as crafts movement oftentimes only practised by women.

Through his witty and satirical pieces, which engage with the political and social reality the artist confronts daily, Perry’s work managed to bring back into the contemporary artistic discourse forms of art long forgotten. Given this predominance of tapestries and ceramic vases, most exhibitions and scholarly texts have not engaged as much with Perry’s satirical metalworks, which attest to the artist’s ability to span across a variety of different media. However, exceptions apply.