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4.4 out of 5 stars
Grayson Perry: Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Girl
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 18 August 2010
Not only is this a fantastic insight into Grayson's development as an artist - it is a fascinating study of transvestism and play. The details about Alan Measles, and his complicated imaginary world will strike a chord with a lot of people, as well as allowing the reader to better interpret some of his work. Very good indeed, shame it wasn't 4 times the length.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I bought this book at the British Museum after visiting the exhibition "The Tomb of an Unknown Craftsman" at the British Museum. Grayson Perry's work evoked so many thoughts and feelings, particularly his dictum "sit lightly to your beliefs" and "if you let go of a need to search for meaning you will enjoy life in this world more." Reading this account of the artist's life so far has been fascinating, giving me insights into his world and helping me to understand his transvestitism. The cover of the book shows Grayson Perry on a tricycle wearing a little girl's dress. As I sat in my home reading this book, I was asked: "Is he mad?" And I replied "No. He's an artist." This seems to sum it all up. Every piece of art Grayson Perry produces seems to be measured against the barometer of his childlike perceptions, the solid core of his outlook onto the world in which he finds himself. Every perception is referred back to the character of his childhood teddy, "Alan Measles." This book has the power to change previously entrenched attitudes and to help us to view ourselves and our culture with new eyes.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 22 June 2012
Anyone with an interest to Grayson Perry's art will enjoy this short biography. It's an interesting read and I found myself hardly able to put it down. Full of tragic, funny and exciting anecdotes. I've been reading this and a Biography of Hogarth and the parallels are astonishing, not just between the two artists, but between society in both their lives and even today.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
I had the great good fortune to go and see Perry being interviewed by Lars Tharp last year and was completely hooked. He is erudite, witty, intensely amusing and absolutely fascinating when he talks about artists and the idea of craftsmanship and tradition. His pots are wonderful and he, as their creator, never disappoints.

I stumbled across this book and ordered it, hoping that it would not be as dry as dust. It too, doesn't disappoint. Wendy Jones, the author, has had the great good sense and dignity to allow Grayson's voice free rein. The book is basically written as transcripts from tapes where Jones asked Perry questions and then must have just let him go. His mannerisms, voice, ideas and personality are all over this book writ large and it is all the better for it.

The book deals with what in Perry's eyes made him into the artist he is today. It stops the narrative with his first proper pot/show at the age of 22. Despite this, there are clear markers to the person he is today and the book, for a regular priced paper back has a lot of excellent black and white and colour photographs, both of Perry and his work. In fact I've seen art tomes which cost three times more with worse illustrative plates. This is spectacular value for money and a really fascinating read.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on 23 February 2006
After being an admirer of Perry's work for the last couple of years I was interested to read more about the man behind the pots (and dresses). Coming soon after reading Tracey Emin's revelatory writing I was prepared for an artist's life laid bare. I found this book to be tender, funny, enlightening and frank. For me there wasn't quite enough on his art but there was an awful lot on his motivation for concentration on the subject matter of his work. I look forward to the sequel that will bring me up to date with how he got from there to here!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 29 March 2013
If you are interested in Grayson Perry I'm sure you would find this book fascinating. If you are interested in people and how their attitudes impact on their environment and social relationships there is a lot of interesting material. If you have a sense of how human beings have remained essentially the same over millenia, and have expressed their feelings through contemporary materials and thought patterns, this is a man who can take you to exciting places.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 11 January 2009
A really gripping and thoughtful book. It has such a strong sense of his voice in it.
i would sit there and listen to him for hours! his anecdotes are so humanistic, sometimes funny, and alot of british eccentricity

yay!
plus i was born in the same hospital. woop!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 9 April 2014
I hope she's going to write a follow up as you are definitely left wanting more when you reach the end. Not in a bad way; he's interesting enough that I would like to know more of where he's at now in his career. A pretty quick read and he's a fascinating character. Insightful to know how he became who he is based on his childhood background and art college experiences. I did wonder if the cross dressing was a cynical art world marketing campaign and it's refreshing to know it all comes from a genuine place. Perry appears to be a very straightforward bloke, I wouldn't mind having a cuppa with him.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 22 July 2012
Grayson Perry tells the tale of his growing up through the writing of Wendy Jones, through his solitary childhood years, his retreat into imagination and his fraught teenagerdom, his steps into transvestism on into his early adulthood at art school and living in squats. The book makes fascinating reading and Gryason's tale is colourful and revealing, all laid out in easy to read prose. well worth the ticket.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 27 July 2012
I loved this book so much after getting a copy from the college library that I searched through Amazon and found a second hand copy at a totally bargain price. The service was speedy and its such a good read if you happen to be a Grayson fan, which I am. His ceramics are extraordinary. It was fun reading about his life as written by one of his friends. I highly recommend you read this.
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