Saturday, 25 June 2016

Playing to the Gallery by Grayson Perry. Book review

Hello. I have been hanging on to this book for several weeks now, keep picking it up and finding more little gems of wisdom. I like Grayson Perry, his art, his humour, and his cross dressing. In this book he tells it like it is, the art world stripped bare according to the Perry ethos. 
He chose this title for a reason, it could have been entitled, 'Sucking up to the Academic Elite', but he has based it on some of his popular Reith Lectures. He answers some of the basic questions about art, but are too embarrassed to ask, such as what counts as quality art, and how do you become a contemporary artist.

A few interesting and amusing snippets. What is quality art? Validation is the key point, who is doing the validating? Quite often you can't tell if something is a piece of art apart from the fact that people are standing around looking at it. How can you tell if a photo is art? He says we live in an age when photography rains on us like sewage from above. That made me laugh.

This is Grayson Perry's personal journey through the art world, helping contemporary art in it's struggle to be understood. He asks if it has become mainstream, and says anyone is eligible to enjoy art or become an artist. He also says, very few artists make art to make money, they do it because they are driven, or they love to look at it, or to be around artists. People think it's fun to be an artist, but it takes a lot of hours to produce an artwork.

This book is a refreshing look at the art world in a direct and no claptrap pretentious waffling way. Read it if you enjoy art, but also read it if you are baffled by art and are looking for a simple way of understanding it.

Plenty of reviews on Amazon here. 

If you've got nine minutes to spare take a look at this yooootoooob video. He talks about his preparation for the Reith Lectures.



Right, I'll toddle off, things to do. A new exhibition at our 20 21 Arts Centre has started and the artist is there in person today, so I want to go and meet her.

Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip



9 comments:

  1. I'm going to check my library for this book, although I'm not sure it will be available here.

    I'd never heard of Grayson Perry until I saw an article a few years ago about him. He was attending an event with Kate Middleton at The Art Room, a charity that provides art therapy to children, which I think is great. Both he and Kate support the charity.

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  2. I love Grayson Perry and have watched a few programmes about him. I loved the house he recently designed and wondered if you've seen the programme - if not then here's a link, with a 360 video - http://www.channel4.com/programmes/grayson-perrys-dream-house - did you get to meet the artist at the Art Centre today?

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    1. Hi Lesley. Thanks for the link. I did see the programme about his house, I loved it. He is very inspiring.

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  3. I should have watched your video first, before posting my last comment, as I hear Grayson mention the house - oh well. I've just finished looking at the 360 house video - I would love to visit it.

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  4. Grayson Perry is great. I have that book out of the library at moment and have renewed it to read again. I agree art is much more interesting when it is challenging.

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    1. Hi. Yes, I like art which makes me think.

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  5. I listened to his Reith lectures - a very interesting bloke, now ordering the book from the library

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    1. He just cuts through the crap and tells it like it is. Hope you enjoy it.

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  6. I could listen to him all day. I may just get that book.

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