SYDNEY'S ART SHOWCASE HEATS UP
On Wednesday the 9th of December the upper echelons of the Sydney art scene descended upon the Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney for the much anticipated opening of contemporary English artist Grayson Perry’s exhibition ‘My Pretty Little Art Career’, as part of the MCA’s much revered Summer Shows.
WORDS BY FINNIAN MULLALLY MUSCHINSKI & IMAGES BY MCA SYDNEY
‘My Pretty Little Art Career’ represents one of the largest and most concise exhibits of the Turner Winner’s work, encompassing an array of 60 of his tapestries, ceramics and sculptures from throughout his career. Grayson’s work exhibits a comical representation and critique of contemporary English society and exploration of self, especially in regards to his alter ego Claire. Grayson is not merely a artist but a curator, writer and activist, in his recent documentary ‘‘Grayson Perry; Who are you?’’ he explored aspects of the changing identity of contemporary English society and the wider ramification this held upon the notion of the English identity as a whole.
A theme which is thoroughly represented in much of the work amassed for the MCA exhibition. Grayson’s work explores the notion of identity through the use of a eclectic mix of unique vernacular English artistic traditions creating a richly unique style, heavily embedded in a sense of mock Victorian splendor. His ceramics exhibit elements of the naivety of 19th century Staffordshire pottery and the sophistical of oriental porcelain. Each of Grayson's monolithic ceramic masterpieces are embellished with themes of war, taste, social class, religion and identity, created through the use of photograph transfers, graffito and witty text, such as ‘The Rosetta Vase’. Petticoats, warplanes, school girls, religious icons, teddy bears and car crashes morph to create a scene of disjointed harmony throughout his art.
Grayson sees himself as chronicler of contemporary life, as represented through the narrative element of his artworks, which enables the audience to be utterly shocked or bemused by his didies of contemporary life. Each of Grayson’s works are glued together by his sly fox like humor which is overt in its imagery as he uses the society and art of the past as a tool to represent the dysfunctional aspects of todays society. As a homage to the English vernacular tradition of pictorial dioramas such as the 18th century work of William Hogarth, Grayson explores and transforms this medium through his series of tapestries such as ‘‘The Annunciation of the Virgin Deal’’. As Grayson Perry reiterated through his opening speech ‘My Pretty Little Art Career’ is a deeply physiological exploration into the inner mind and working of Grayson resulting form the fact that ‘‘I tend to define my self by my work’’. Whilst thanking the MCA Grayson went on to earnestly instruct his audience to ‘enjoy the show.’ A must see.
‘Grayson Perry: My Pretty Little Art Career ‘ Museum of Contemporary Art December 10, 2015 to May 1, 2016