Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Playing to the Gallery, by Grayson Perry

Staff Review by Chris Saliba

Artist Grayson Perry gives his refreshing take on the art world. 

“For even I, an Essex transvestite potter, have been let into the art-world mafia,” happily declares Grayson Perry in the introduction to his manifesto Playing to the Gallery (based on his Reith Lectures). Australian ABC viewers may know Perry from his BBC documentaries, where he frequently dresses as his alter ego, Claire. In this short book the artist and potter writes about many aspects of the art world, much of it from a practitioner’s point of view. He discusses money and art, the vagaries of the art scene, popular art versus the cutting edge variety and whether the art world is truly revolutionary or secretly conformist.

Grayson is a bit of an outlier; he seems surprised by his own success. It is this distance that allows Perry to look on and comment about his milieu in an amused, detached yet appreciative manner. Playing the the Gallery offers many insights into the finicky world of art  and provides a useful guide for those wanting to make art a career. It counsels cheerful optimism but warns that success takes many decades to achieve. This is the perfect book to drop into the knapsack of any young art student.

Playing to the Gallery, by Grayson Perry. Published by Particular Books. ISBN: 9781846148576  RRP: $35 

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