Grayson Perry is an award-winning artist who works in a variety of media, including embroidery and photography, yet he is best known for his ceramic works: classically shaped vases covered with figures, patterns and text. Grayson was born in Chelmsford in 1960 and went onto study at Braintree College of Further Education and at Portsmouth Polytechnic. In 2003, he became famous as the first ceramic artist to win the Turner Prize and was awarded a CBE in 2014.
Alongside his art, Grayson has written and presented documentaries including an hour-long documentary for Channel 4 entitled Why Men Wear Frocks, in which he examined transvestism and masculinity in the 21st century. In the programme, Grayson spoke candidly about his own experiences and the effect it has had on him and his family. The documentary received a Royal Television Society award for Best Network Production. His 2012 series All in the Best Possible Taste with Grayson Perry received a BAFTA for Specialist Factional Television. Grayson also went onto win a Grierson Award for Documentary Presenter of the Year.
Grayson continues to take on a diverse range of projects from guest appearances on shows such as Have I Got News For You and The Culture Show, and talks such as Myths of the Artist at the Tate Modern, to a tour of Bavaria with his teddy bear, Alan Measles, for BBC Radio 4's Grayson on His Bike. He also made history when he delivered the prestigious Reith Lectures for BBC Radio 4 becoming the first artist to do so.
Grayson's programme Who Are You? led to the accompanying artwork from the series being housed in the National Portrait Gallery, a first for the Gallery. The programme was awarded Best Arts Programme at The Royal Television Society Programme Awards and Specialist Factual at the BAFTAs, with Grayson being awarded Documentary Presenter of the Year at The Grierson Awards.
2016 saw Grayson sell out the London Palladium with his critically acclaimed show Typical Man in A Dress, publish the best selling book, The Descent of Man, and star in the hit series Born Risky for All4.
Grayson took to Twitter to navigate post-Brexit Britain in his own inimitable style by inviting Channel 4 viewers to help create his next major work – The two pots featured in the series Grayson Perry: What Britain Wants and also as apart of Grayson’s most important British solo exhibition, ‘The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever’, which was held at the Serpentine Gallery in June 2017.
In late 2017, Grayson won Best Documentary Presenter at The Grierson Awards for the third time following the broadcast of Grayson Perry: All Man for Channel 4. 2018 will see Grayson front various different live events, including Hello Boys. How feminism can save the world, if not your sex life at London Bridge Theatre, as well as art exhibitions such as The Life of Julie Cope and Making Meaning at The Gallery at Windsor.
Summer 2018 saw Grayson co-ordinate the 250th Celebration of The Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition. Along with fellow artists, Grayson handpicked over 1,300 works to make up the biggest, brightest and most colourful exhibition yet under the theme of Art Made Now.
In his most recent series, Rites of Passage for Channel 4, Grayson traveled the world to explore and reinvent the ceremonies and rituals surrounding some of life’s landmark events – Birth, Coming of Age, Marriage and Death.
Grayson Perry in New Channel 4 Series Rites of Passage
Grayson Perry coordinates the Royal Academy 250th Summer Exhibition
Grayson Perry receives double nomination for the 2018 Royal Television Society Awards
Grayson Perry wins the hat-trick for ‘Best Documentary Presenter’ at The Grierson Awards
Grayson Perry sells out London Palladium with 'Just Be Yourself'
As a presenter, I find Perry a constant surprise. Here, he was equally unpredictable, almost admiring of those who were desperate to hang onto their little patch of England. The end result was lovely – vibrant, enigmatic, strange – but I would like to have seen more of Perry at the wheel.
The Telegraph on Grayson Perry: What Britain Wants
The conclusion of Grayson Perry’s artistic exploration of the tribalism that accompanied the Brexit vote moved some of his subjects to the point of tears, and struck me with the punch of original insight. Perry’s television programmes are great because they dare to reach conclusions that rise to artistic statements
The Times on Grayson Perry: What Britain Wants