Grayson Perry: Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Girl Paperback – 4 Jan 2007
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"The most remarkable aspect of Grayson Perry's biography is the resilience of the human spirit to which it testifies... There are lovely moments in this book and what really comes across is what a lovely man Grayson Perry is" (Literary Review)
"Gripping and splinter-sharp account of the Turner prize-winning potter's early life and artistic growth" (Sunday Times)
"[A] delightful autobiography... this short charming book ought to be required reading for anyone with artistic ambitions. For everyone else, it can be enjoyed simply as one of those heartwarming tales of happiness and success wrested from the jaws of potential disaster" (Mail on Sunday)
"One of the most gripping and intelligent accounts of an artist's growth I have ever read" (John Carey Sunday Times)
"Charming... oddly reminiscent of Nigel Slater's recent book, Toast" (Saturday Herald)
The intimate, funny, unsettling autobiography by one of Britain's most talented and provocative artists, written in his own voice by a close friend.See all Product description
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His interest in female clothing, and his understanding of what lies behind it for him develop as he grows up, and it is a fascinating read. It is a gradual process, broken up by his own fears and doubts, and also by the intervention of others when he is discovered. He explains his own motivations and rewards; his relief at the acceptance of others.
Now known to the public primarily as a potter, he was a late developer in this area. It was only as an adult that he found a teacher who inspired his love for traditional potting and ceramic techniques which he uses today. His stories about his college years will be familiar to most students; particularly those of around his generation. The stories of ventures into performance art, and a brief period of drug use are poignant and sometimes very funny. He wryly subjects his younger self to some severe criticism, acknowledging that he lost his way several times. But artists don't emerge fully formed; at least, not very often. They need to form, develop, grow. Move from the derivative to the original. And I really got that from this book. He shows us his early need to please; parents; teachers; contemporaries. And then his acceptance of himself; to do what he wants to do, and to be what he wants to be.
The book is one of the best descriptions of what it means to be an artist I've read. In many ways, it's not anything magical; talent yes, but dedication, experimentation and perseverance are just as important. He's not afraid to analyse his talent and creativity; to acknowledge his weaknesses as well as his strengths. The different facets of his character work together to make him the artist and man we see today, and very likeable he is. It's definitely worth a read.
*You can read all my reviews in full on my blog; there is a link on my profile page*
I read it because I wanted to understand why Grayson disowned his mother. It was very sad in parts but also funny and uplifting.