The Vanity Of Small Differences

The Vanity Of Small Differences
Signed Print

Grayson Perry

Lithograph, 2012
Signed Print Edition of 1000

Critical Review

Produced in 2012 on the occasion of Perry’s solo show for Victoria Miro, London, and in conjunction with Perry’s All In The Best Possible Taste, a series of tv programmes hosted by the artist on Channel 4, this series of lithographs attests to Perry’s monumental and iconic tapestry work. The works are inspired by William Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress and offer a satirical, dark-humoured commentary on consumer culture and materialism, an interest Perry shares with the likes of Warhol, Koons and Duchamp.

The pieces follow the life of young Tim as he is still a baby born in a lower-class family and progresses until Tim becomes a member of the well-to-do upper-class, having lucratively sold his software company. The series ends with Tim’s premature death following a car accident, Perry’s dark humoured final commentary on society’s materialism symbolised by the crashed Ferrari. In the series, as Tim grows richer, he surrounds himself with increasingly expensive consumer goods, which point towards his obsession with wealth and his materialism.

Like in most of his other works, Perry once again offers a critical and witty commentary on everyday life, and gestures towards the modern-day obsession with objects and to how materialistic goods are now the main vehicles through which people convey their economic status as well as their need for belonging and acceptance.