‘Small Differences’ by Grayson Perry at Pera
ISTANBULAs part of its 10th year celebration program, Istanbul’s Pera Museum is presenting the work of Turner and BAFTA award winner Grayson Perry.
Organized in collaboration with the British Council and curated by Linsey Young from the British Council’s Visual Arts Team, the exhibition reflects the artist’s unrelenting fascination with issues of the everyday, religion, class, and identity.
The exhibition “Small Differences” includes Perry’s largest single body of work, “The Vanity of Small Differences,” alongside his ceramics, tapestries, and prints. The exhibition focuses on Perry’s interest in the everyday and the different lifestyles of members of society.
Practitioner of artisanal crafts
Though working within the context of contemporary art, Perry remains a practitioner of artisanal crafts and a lover of beauty.
He rejects conceptual art as the sole claimant of ideas and champions the decorative and intimate qualities of handmade objects with stories to tell.
The ceramic medium that first drew Grayson Perry to craft practice continues to be a critical and is perhaps the most traditionally beautiful element of his work.
“Turkey is a country that has such a rich and alive traditional culture compared to Britain. I piggy-back a lot of my work on an amalgamation of various local cultures from around the globe... I’m a node in a web of influences and, through the things that inspire me in museums and art books, I draw in connections from lots of different cultures,” Perry explains in the exhibition’s catalogue.
Tapestries illustrate fictional lifetime
“The Vanity of Small Differences,” is a series of six large-scale tapestries, completed in 2012, which explore British fascination with taste and class. Inspired by the 18th century painter William Hogarth’s moral tale, “A Rake’s Progress,” Perry’s tapestries follow the life of a fictional character called Tim Rakewell as he grows from infancy through his teenage and middle years, to his untimely death in a car accident.
The tapestries were woven by Flanders Tapestries in Belgium. The work’s title refers to the small differentiating factors that allow us to understand which social group a person belongs or aspires to through his or her choices of clothes, cars and hobbies. Also in the exhibition is the artist’s earliest work, a ceramic pot from 2002, the period during which Perry was nominated for the Turner Prize.
The exhibit culminates with a self-portrait, “A Map of Days,” which was completed in 2014 for a major exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. The exhibition, which opened on May 13, will be on view until July 26.