Grayson Perry (CBE)*, is a celebrity pantomime dame signed to an exclusive contract with British 'public-service' broadcaster Channel 4. Back in the '80s Channel 4 blazed a trail of diversity, alt comedy and innovative drama 'distinct from the mainstream', but now it exploits and misrepresents the working class and laughs at travellers.
However, Grayson Perry (CBE) does things differently. His uniquely intersectional identity as a cross-dresser, a father/dad, a straight man, a married man, a working class man, a rich man, and a man with 77K Twitter followers has allowed Channel 4 to commission many 'socially conscious' and 'challenging' documentaries with Grayson Perry (CBE) at the helm. Here he is receiving his royal honour from Prince Charles.
Grayson Perry (CBE) is also a very successful, celebrity contemporary artist who shows at top-tier museums, art fairs and commercial spaces in the UKUS/EU. He makes tapestries and ceramic pots with a contemporary, sometimes rude and sometimes irreverent twist. Rich people buy them for large and secretive amounts of money, even though rich people are sometimes the 'critical targets' explored in them.
Last week (following a report by the free UK gutter rag the Evening Standard) Grayson Perry (CBE) shocked the (art) world with a weirdly indirect rant-praise of BrexTrump at a private event, and we have all been reeling since. Here he is:
'Voting Brexit and for Trump is a big cry, it's a big fuck you to us lot. Everyone talks about 2016 as an annus horribilis, but I think it's been fantastic as an artist. For me as an artist I love it when something comes along and makes me think 'wow that's a bit shocking'. That's what creativity is. We can't keep on peddling our same old comfortable ideas and preaching to the converted. No, lets go out there and genuinly engage with the majority of the population.'
Maybe Slavoj Zizek would know the right Lacanian psychoanalytical term for this confused thinking, because surely there must be one. Is creativity loving it when the right wing are on the move? Is creativity loving it because the alt-right are at least alt so maybe they'll probably like other alt stuff like art, American Apparel and Coldplay?
Perhaps Grayson Perry (CBE) was just giving the room of 'black clad media types' a wake up call. But is the 'I'm glad BrexTrump happened' angle ever a good idea? Does it scream 'I've lost all perspective' in the cold light of day? How about this other statement:
"If you have a gallery who are the people who never come? Blue-collar working class Conservatives. You could throw a brick at the opening of the Tate and you wouldn't hit anyone that voted Conservative."
But hang on a minute, aren't there loads of Conservatives at the exclusive, invite only openings at Tates Britain/Modern? Even if you left out all the moneyed elites and high net worth individuals you'd still hit some prominent and easy targets. For example:
If you threw a brick during the opening of the current exhibition of photographs loaned to the Tate by Conservative voter, and previous dinner host to UKIP's Nigel Farage, Sir Elton Hercules John (CBE) you'd have surely hit him.
If not you'd have probably hit Conservative voter and tax-shy artist Tracy 'Tories are the only hope" Emin (CBE).
And who knows, maybe old friend and fellow 'eccentric pop star' Kate Bush (CBE) would have been in attendance too. She's a Conservative supporter, in fact she thinks current Prime Minster Theresa May is 'the best thing that's happened to [the UK] in a long time'.
I don't know anything anymore. I'm totally confused, I thought all creatives were liberals. But, maybe I've been blinded by my own 'social media echo chamber'. Maybe Grayson Perry (CBE) is just the latest celebrity artist to speak a wacky, right-positive truth to power. Maybe there has been a sea change. WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Is Grayson Perry (CBE) another example (see Marina and Weiwei) of art celebrities gone wild, or is he speaking 'the truth'?
Are celebrity artists the best political commentators?
Do we NEED to hear Ai Weiwei and Marina Abramovic on BrexTrump too?
If BrexTrump is a wake up call, what's the appointment we had to keep?
Does the Tate need more or less Conservatives?
Are royal honours to blame?
Do you have 77K Twitter followers?
A CBE is a royal honour given to an individual by the queen in the form of a medal presented by her or another member of the British Royal Family. The deifinition of the acronym CBE is Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.