BBC Reith Lectures 2013, given by Grayson Perry. Playing to the Gallery.

The Final State of Art.
I listened to the third talk in the series today. Grayson Perry first discussed the relationship between Society and Art and how some artists are under the impression that the role of the artist is to shock, he suggested that there is nothing new in this approach, we can think of Duchamp’s work or that of the Fauve artists, who were called the Wild Beasts. He think that many of us seem to looking for rebellion in art, he gave a humorous description of ‘maya’, as being the most advanced yet acceptable! In other words, outrage has become domesticated, ‘gentrification is under way! I think that his humorous approach to the subject, succeeded in involving himself with the enthusiastic audience, it was liberally sprinkled with facetious quips. The fact that he has become part of the Art Establishment he finds amusing, potters at one time were perceived as ‘folksy’ and not serious artists.
He talked about manifestos, can anything be called art as long as it has a manifesto, in which the purpose of the piece is set out? He will always want to encourage artists, while also mentioning that not everything in his opinion, can be called Art.
Many ‘isms’ were listed, pluralism, commercialism, globalism, nepotism and capitalism.
Globalism is inevitable, is art produced for commercial gain really genuine? Art produced without that motivation may become popular, maybe it is beautiful, then the artist will earn his or her keep. It is hard for young artists to earn enough to afford studio rents and many artists gather in low priced housing areas, Grayson Perry warned that these areas can become trendy places to visit!! The Bobos are bourgeois bohemians, I think named so by D. Brooks in one of his books. Tracy Emin was mentioned, the Tory voter, said with feeling, that made me smile. He knows how to create some degree of shock too and relishes it I think.
I hope that some of you heard the talk and would like to add a comment.

2 thoughts on “BBC Reith Lectures 2013, given by Grayson Perry. Playing to the Gallery.

  1. You can find more resources on this series of Reith lectures at .
    I haven’t heard this episode yet, but I heard the ‘beating the bounds’ one, which I thought struck a good balance in its approach to defining art, not caving in to complete relativism in which art is whatever you prefer to call art, but nevertheless defining art on practical grounds rather than idealisations.

  2. Thank you very much for the web link. I look forward to listening to his final lecture, the first three have contained interesting food for thought.
    I also enjoyed the series he made for television, in which he discussed the way art is perceived by the public. As a result of his involvement with some of the people he interviewed, he commissioned a tapestry, portraying them and their choices of art. Grayson Perry is happy to use up to date technology, as do many artists, he even joked that Michaelangelo may have used the Sistine Chapel ceiling as a backdrop for a screening of his painting, rather than spending weeks painting it while upside down!

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