Beyond appearances – La Croix –


The Hotel de la Monnaie in Paris opens its halls to Grayson Perry, a talented and provocative English artist who has made women's tolerance his human struggle.

Grayson Perry. Vanity. Identity. sexuality

Currency of Paris

after House of women In 2017, which invited 39 female artists to speak against domestic isolation, the Monnaie de Paris continues its reflection on gender by welcoming the fickle and eccentric English artist Grayson Perry. Famous in his country for the shows he hosts on Channel 4, he is particularly known for these public appearances. Dressed as a woman, with wigs, brightly colored dresses and matching shoes, she wears the character of her alter ego, Claire. Because this married man and father is a feminist activist claimed that he makes his own body a manifesto for tolerance, the right to be different, against stereotypes.

In the cozy lounges of the Quai de Conti, overlooking the Seine, dresses in silk and lace, porcelain vases, bronze sculptures, tapestries … seem to be there. However, beyond the forms impressed by the classic, the subjects attract the gaze, push, surprise …

Grayson Perry is leading a campaign to bring to light a new man, freed from the archetypes of powerful virility, and intends to make it known loud and clear by printing his message in the true flesh of his works, a message sometimes believed. So this vase covered with drawings, photographs, banknotes, watches … evokes the towers of the City of London, its money and its power – masculine – harmful. Or these two cast-iron sculptures – Our mother is Our father – depicting two heavily laden refugees, a man and a woman, this last one that brings his four children along with all his luggage …

An acute analyst of social inequalities, an attentive explorer of the territory of masculinity and, more generally, of the genre, Grayson Perry willingly uses humor, often sarcastic, to color a reality too abrupt and above all to approach a wider audience. Witness this Harley-Davidson life-size painted in bright colors that shows the motto "humility, chastity, patience". Far from the often aggressive masculinity of motorcyclists. In the back, a chest is used as a shelter for Alan Measles, the teddy bear who goes through the life and work of the artist, a substitute for an absent father, a tender alternative to a violent father-in-law.

At the same time a painter, ceramist and sculptor, Grayson Perry also knows how to weave stories about huge tapestries. In a pop style inspired by comics but also drawing on the sources of Christian iconography, which impersonates impertinently, tells the lives of women and men involved in the ruthless functioning of society, in their crushed dreams and their hopes were swept away. In the series of six paintings entitled Vanity of small differences, interprets Tim Rakewell's life as a parable of modern times. The story of a young man from the working class, who emancipates a little thanks to a profitable career in new technologies, and dies before the wheel of his Ferrari …

For the first time exhibited in France, Grayson Perry who defines himself as "An overwhelming potter from Essex", he was crowned in 2003 by the Turner Prize in England. A distinction at the height of this irreverent but profoundly human artist.

Laurence Pean


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