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Grayson Perry's Art Club' Exhibition

(251 Posts)
BitMuch Sun 06-Dec-20 21:26:44

www.channel4.com/programmes/graysons-art-club. I really enjoyed watching this series during lockdown because the amateur artists are very diverse and it showcases some interesting work. In this week's episode, for the final exhibition of their work, Grayson Perry dressed up in a way he is open about being very sexually aroused by. He has these clothes specifically designed to hide an erection. He didn't dress this way in any of the previous episodes. I found this totally disrespectful of him, especially when he was talking to the amateur artists who travelled to Manchester for the event despite covid, including a 17 year old girl and a young man with autism. The programme was primarily about the members of the public and showcasing their art. It's a nice pre-watershed family-friendly programme that has children on it, like a young 12 year old boy who made a collage of his twin brother who passed away.

Why does Grayson act out his fetish in events he attends that are not remotely 'adult' in nature?

Grayson went to a a primary school event with the Duchess of Cambridge and decided to wear his fetish gear to that so I have no idea where he draws the line. This is so accepted by society at large but I cannot feel comfortable with it. He seems so Jekyll and Hyde. Would a man wearing a gimp suit be invited along with a royal to speak with children in a primary school?

Also, his wife Phillipa Perry was the joint presenter and she made art too so I don't know why her name was missing from the title. It would have been more accurate to be called 'Grayson and Phillipa's Art Club'.

OP’s posts: |
OhHolyJesus Sun 06-Dec-20 21:55:05

Well there's a lot to unpack there!

Thanks OP, will check it out. I tried reading GP's book but just couldn't. I just think he is a raging narc, though I appreciate that he uses the men's toilets.

Even writing that shows how I have become grateful to men who wear dresses whilst recognising they are men and staying in their lane. Low bar.

supercali77 Mon 07-Dec-20 07:08:15

Where did you get the info that he had the clothes made to hide an erection? I've never seen that anywhere. I love his dresses because as much as anything else they're expertly made.

DinoGloria Mon 07-Dec-20 07:36:52

Nope, it's not about that.

https://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/whatson/walker-art-gallery/exhibition/making-himself-claire-grayson-perrys-dresses#section--the-exhibition

Scout2016 Mon 07-Dec-20 07:56:30

I've been trying to find that about esigning outfits for hiding arousal too. I don't recall it being in his autobiography.
He's said that he only bothers getting dressed up if he's going somewhere special because it's a big effort.
With recent events I've appreciated that he doesn't attempt to "pass" and is very much "I'm a bloke in a dress", but I am aware that one of his reasons for not wanting to pass is, as well as liking outlandish fashions, that he wanted attention and possible humiliation. He's spoken about fame negating this aspect though, because everyone acts like they are fine with it and it's expected of him. But yes, I know what you mean OP, because the wearing dresses has its origins in an aspect of his sexuality and some of the outfits are deliberately very little girl dressing up style.
Do I think he's getting off on wearing a dress to primary school or to meet Kate M though? No, I don't. I think it's got to the stage that it's just "going to a posh do, best make an effort." Likewise the art show opening.

SquishySquirmy Mon 07-Dec-20 08:02:18

I don't know
The actual dress is not particularly inappropriate?
I do agree that wearing fetish wear around other people is icky, but the dress just looks like a flouncy dress? There is a line, but I don't think he crosses it there. It's not a Gimp suit.
Unless that dress was specifically made for that purpose... was he being serious when he said that? Or just trying to be provocative?

...so I don't know!

mrsgcway Mon 07-Dec-20 08:14:39

I agree OP.

I started watching the first programme in lockdown. When he said he hadn't dressed as his alter ego because he couldn't go out and nobody would see him, I stopped watching. I thought he made it clear his motivation was the reactions of involuntary strangers.

Datun Mon 07-Dec-20 08:16:13

He gets turned on wearing dresses, especially if people are shocked.

He's so upfront about it, it's like people can't hear it. But that's because they're not listening.

It's a fetish. He couldn't be clearer. He's not wearing dresses because he likes frocks.

everythingcrossed Mon 07-Dec-20 08:20:33

I think people would be quite disappointed if he didn't dress up - it's what he's known for, probably more than his art (and I suspect there may be an element of marketing in his decision to be so open about it). I'm very much of the people-can-wear-what-they-want school of thought, he's not claiming womanhood, everyone seemed happy to be there, it's not something I could ever get worked up about.

Divebar Mon 07-Dec-20 08:28:01

I think people would be disappointed to meet him in his “civilian”clothes. The dressing is part and parcel of his persona as an artist. I imagine people who are into “ Drag Race” would enjoy meeting Rue Paul dressed up than not dressed up. It’s definitely part of his public identity.

testing987654321 Mon 07-Dec-20 08:28:10

He definitely wants a reaction, on Sandy Toksvig's R4 programme the other day he said it's no fun doing it in New York because they don't react.

I think that's the best thing to do, just accept people dressing how they want provided they are decent. Over time they won't get a reaction and hopefully dresses and skirts can just be seen as clothes in the same way that shirts and trousers are.

CatsCantCatchCriminals2 Mon 07-Dec-20 08:56:07

* Over time they won't get a reaction*...

I first read that as-

Over time they won't get an erection...

😂

DinoGloria Mon 07-Dec-20 09:06:51

I do think he's been recently taking the piss out of the likes of Eddy Izzard. He certainly takes the piss out if the art establishment. And he definitely highlights the stupidity of someone like Eddy. He says himself, he's a bloke in a dress.

Yes I am actually pissed off that he sets the student challenge to "dress Clare" - why not just dress him? The outfits are stunning.

I get far more worked up though about how Tate Kids bleat about him being a 'queer artist' (he'd never say that of himself) to children (with bloody pop and Ollie) and insisted on using a v graphic image of a bound woman on a pot of his (yes this turns my stomach and I need to know more about that pot) in a film for children designed for use in schools.

Perry isn't the problem; captured galleries working with woke 'sex positive' charities are a much, much bigger issue.

I'm keeping an eye on my local gallery who's promoting a trans artist a lot in their education programs as they're ticking woke LGBT points. All the paintings are pure narcissistic self portraits of AGP. Again though, highlighting a bloke in a dress...

ArabellaScott Mon 07-Dec-20 09:13:24

Hm. It may have started as a fetish, by now I think it is at least partly his 'brand'. People expect him to dress up.

Scout2016 Mon 07-Dec-20 09:14:41

It's the motivation that's key. Imagine someone running the local youth club looks punky - is that because they are a fan of punk music and the overall look (fine) or because they are into bondage as and get a kick out of wearing the gear in public (obviously not fine.)
With Grayson I know it is a fetish though, or started as one, PPs are right. I am sat wondering why I am mainly ok with this when I wouldn't be at all ok with other fetishes being acted out in public.

Shedbuilder Mon 07-Dec-20 09:16:33

I've gone from being a fan to being increasingly disturbed by his behaviour. He's a bloke who gets a kick from going out dressed as a parody of womanhood and enjoys other peoples' discomfort. It strikes me as adolescent, narcissistic and fetishy and I'm increasingly seeing it as confrontational and as insulting as drag.

Alex Drummond is actively, openly insulting and sticking two fingers up at lesbians. Greyson is funnier and on the surface more self-aware and I suppose that's why women let him get away with it. But I increasingly wonder what the difference really is.

Have to say that I've become less and less comfortable with Phillippa Perry over time too. Not entirely sure what her role in it is, but she's clearly enabling and colluding.

CatsCantCatchCriminals2 Mon 07-Dec-20 09:23:27

* I've gone from being a fan to being increasingly disturbed by his behaviour.*..

Me too. I used to really like him but now I can't stand him.

Beamur Mon 07-Dec-20 09:23:46

There's a deeper irony in that the normalisation of men dressing in women's clothing (as a fetish/art form/performance, whatever the motive for that person is) has reduced the shock value of it. For some people the reaction of others is what is sought and consequently will be diminished as people react less, or not at all.
Curious. Bit of a self defeating paradox.

Scout2016 Mon 07-Dec-20 09:25:01

@DinoGloriawhich pot is the bound woman on please? Having no joy with google.

CountFosco Mon 07-Dec-20 09:27:37

I'm not convince Grayson Perry is the enemy here, his programme on masculinity was excellent and he's a good counterpoint to the likes of Eddie Izzard. Agree he seems to only dress up for 'events' these days.

BeepBoopBop Mon 07-Dec-20 09:27:37

I watched a couple of episodes of him travelling around the USA and he was extremely engaging. I did notice he kept his pants on for that - how strange 🙄

DinoGloria Mon 07-Dec-20 09:30:58

Honestly, take a closer look at the Tate.

Especially the education department.

And otherwise brilliant film on pottery and clay is rendered inappropriate by this image.

(I don't know much about the pot at all. It's possible it's about not being allowed to express any stereotyped femininity? But I still wouldn't show it to teens.)

In reality this is a tiny aspect of his work. don't forget how misogynistic the art world is. And famous artists who were actual abusers.

https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/grayson-perry-4657

DinoGloria Mon 07-Dec-20 09:32:25

I feel sick every time I see anything by Eric Gill. Which is quite a lot given he invented one of the most popular fonts in the world.

Shedbuilder Mon 07-Dec-20 09:34:59

I think part of the complication is that he's extremely engaging and so likeable that it's distracted from what's going on. In a way his openness about his fetish has shot him in the foot. If he hadn't mentioned it and had taken the more arty, intellectual performance-art-type line we wouldn't be wondering whether he was getting a hard-on every time he put on a frock. Once that was out the whole picture changed.

DinoGloria Mon 07-Dec-20 09:36:52

https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/perry-aspects-of-myself-t07904

Explains the pot.

Not that image though.

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