Grayson Perry, CBE (born 24 March 1960) is an English artist, known mainly for his ceramic vases. Perry’s vases have classical forms and are decorated in bright colours, depicting subjects at odds with their attractive appearance. There is a strong autobiographical element in his work, in which images of Perry as “Claire”, his female alter-ego, often appear. He was awarded the Turner Prize in 2003.
As well as ceramics, Perry has worked in printmaking, drawing, embroidery and other textile work, film and performance. He has written a graphic novel, Cycle of Violence.
Perry frequently appears in public dressed as a woman, and he has described his female alter-ego variously as “a 19th century reforming matriarch, a middle-England protester for No More Art, an aero-model-maker, or an Eastern European Freedom Fighter,” and “a fortysomething woman living in a Barratt home, the kind of woman who eats ready meals and can just about sew on a button”. In his work Perry includes pictures of himself in women’s clothes: for example Mother of All Battles (1996) is a photograph of “Claire” holding a gun and wearing a dress, in ethnic eastern European style, embroidered with images of war, exhibited at his 2002 Stedelijk show.
In 2011 Grayson Perry curated the Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman at the British Museum.