New work from the critically acclaimed British artist Grayson Perry is exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in London. The title of this portrait exhibition is “Who are you?” It is an investigation into modern identity and lifestyles.
The starting point of the work was Perry’s realisation of formation of his own identity as a layered, ever evolving fluid process and not a formalised end result. Perry points out that in A Map of Days, which is an illustration of his own identity, the centre is very small. He calls identity as lifelong shifting performance. Our selves are but shifting layers of experience.
As always Perry’s work is full of fantastically detailed remarks and accurate social commentary.
Perry uses a variety of media and techniques for his artwork including textiles and prints to pottery and sculpture. All in all 14 pieces are presented around the gallery among other collections.
The exhibition is timed together with a tv series by Channel 4. In the series the creative process of portrait making is documented, while Perry visits his subjects during a research phase.
His art objects present interesting mix of modern lifestyles – from minorities and alternative to celebrities and politicians. The idea is to study extremes to understand how identity is formed.
As always I learned something new from Perry’s sharp social commentary. For example the Ashford Hijab above is a portrait of a young, white British women in her twenties, who are the most likely group to convert to Islam.