Grayson Perry – The Vanity of Small Differences – Victoria Miro Gallery – London – 8th August 2012

Grayson Perry recently made a Channel 4 documentary series titles In the Best Possible Taste. This series explored the British class obsession and was divided into three parts, the working class, the middle class and the upper class. For each class Perry went to stay with people and explored the fashion and design decisions that seemed to symbolise that class. Perry then produced two tapestries for each class.

I went to see the tapestries at his exhibition in the Victoria Miro Gallery. They were completely exceptional with the richest tones and inventive designs. The weaves were completed using digital looms so Perry could achieve a greater depth of colour and textures in the work. For example in the tapestries of the upper classes he used a rougher fabric to mimic the worn out tapestries in the stately homes he visited.

The pieces are all quite controversial and in true Perry fashion can be quite grotesque. The works question the identity of the classes and follow a single character through the classes from birth to death. Perry is probably most critical of the middle classes evaluating their obsession with ‘sticking to the rules’ and religiously following the fashion trends.

I loved this exhibition and enjoyed how honest Perry was with his observations and personal reflection on the class system, what could be a touchy and controversial subject for many.

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