Grayson Perry’s documentary exploring how our class affects our personal taste. Grayson Perry is a British artist who specialises in ceramic work that clearly gets across his message of hatred towards social injustices by exploring social and historical themes.
When watching the programme, what stood out to me most in relation to research for my work was when Perry visited a group of male car modification enthusiasts in Sunderland. He wanted to investigate what men were trying to tell us about themselves when flashing off their cars.
The men talk openly about how their car is in competition with others, how theirs has to be the best and attract the most attention, whether its through the loud volume of their music or the tens of thousands of pounds they waste on their cars that they will never get back- all for the sake of trying to impress others around them. One of them even describes it like the mannerisms of a male peacock, trying to show his big and beautiful feathers to impress other males and females, alike. To quote from the programme, and explaning why the cars meant to much to the men at the meeting, “…it was a way they could express themselves, without feeling too vulnerable and exposed by it”. They obviously feel that there is things they aren’t happy about, and to try and block this out, they make sure that their main materialistic item is the best that it can be. If they catch someones attention from their blasting music and brightly coloured, loud cars- they thrive off the attention.
He also looks at why men in general feel the need to be covered in big tattoos and why they wouldn’t spend the money that they do on tattoos on other forms of artwork, such as sculptures and paintings. It becomes clear that the main reasoning is so people can have their own individual stamp on themselves, and seeing as most tattoos have a story behind them, in a way, they can be a conversation starter. However, the points he was trying to make all boiled down to the same thing for me- that the men in his programme like to spend money on themselves or on materialistic things to better the way in which people percieve them when they are out, even if only glancing at them in the street- the more attention, the better.
Author (and date) unknown Victoria Miro: Grayson Perry [online] available from<http://www.victoria-miro.com/artists/12-Grayson-Perry/> [18 March 2014]
Channel 4, 4od (2012) In the Best Possible Taste- Grayson Perry [online] available from <http://www.channel4.com/programmes/in-the-best-possible-taste-grayson-perry/4od> [27th February 2014]