The Art World

Grayson Perry



Well this part of the exhibition is called the Art World, and I have a kind of tense relationship I would say, with the kind of cultural quarter which I have entered for my career

When I was young, the art world was a kind of backwater. It was a collection of kind of posh collectors, and bohemians, and was quite small and kind of a bit weird. And then sometime especially in London, during the kind of 1990s it became this huge international sort of money festival and also very fashionable for a while. And I was kind of fascinated by this about the kind of shifting values around this job that I had chosen to do, which is to make art. And of course, it was great for me because I made tons of money and suddenly I was starting to make a living out of it.

I mean, I left art college and I went to evening classes and I made pottery. And a lot of my friends who were artists often; “Pottery”? Yeah, that's you know an odd thing, because there was very much a  boundary between craft and art in, particularly in the British art world. And I think they looked down on craft from the kind of lofty heights of academic fine art, because it had this association of to do with class, you know craftsmanship and manual labour were much more of a kind of working-class tradition. Also, feminine Labour was seen as a more feminine thing, so perhaps that also was seen as second class, by certain sections of the art world.

And you know the art world was at, the art world was about ideas, and ideas were somehow the lofty pursuit of gentlemen, and craft was this sort of suburban want to be sort of seen as slightly pretentious sort of incomer into the art world. And it's particularly come from the over educated classes because they, they have a sense of entitlement to do with education that they can kind of they know best.

Good taste is actually about fitting in. So, if you're a nice middle class artist type you have a nice minimalist house with clean floorboards and neutral tones and mid-century furniture, and it fits in with your group It’s not good taste per say. There's no such thing as good taste, but it's about which you know the people around you agree it's nice. Because good taste is that which does not alienate your peers. And that's how it works.