This signed screen print from 2015 is a limited edition of 68 from Grayson Perry’s Six Snapshots of Julie series. The vertical print shows the main character of Perry’s visual saga, Julie Cope, as a reckless and rebellious young woman as she leans on her motorbike under the suspicious stares of bystanders.
The screen print belongs to a border series of depictions of the life of Julie Cope, articulated by Perry through six visual episodes, each recounting a decade of Julie’s life. Like the artist, Julie is born and brought up in Essex, until she decides to move to London, where she marries twice, starts a family and eventually meets her death, although the circumstances of these have not been disclosed by Perry.
For this second scene, Perry explored Julie’s awakening as a young woman and her exploration of her identity and her sexuality. In Perry’s words, the image presents us with a confident “sexy, young rock chick in her hot pants and boots”. The image is dominated by dark reds and bleak maroons and greys, which endow the print with a daunting atmosphere, reinforced by the presence of the motorcycle which, the artist admitted in an interview, might foreshadow Julie’s tragic death later on in the series, announced by the 6th Plate.
Following this series, Perry continued his storytelling through new media, using Julie as the main character for some of his tapestries, and even a podcast entitled The Ballad Of Julie Cope, which made Julie one of the artist’s most instantly recognisable characters.