It’s so great to be back in a gallery. All through lockdown, being denied the chance to see real art, close up, felt like a physical pain. However, during lockdown, I found Grayson Perry’s Art Club every Monday evening on Channel 4, was a creative lifeline, a chance to see art being made, being celebrated and seeing other people – celebrities and Real People – showing their work.
What we didn’t know earlier in the year was that Grayson had spent time in America last year visiting different communities and absorbing their views on identity, race, money and class. Entitled The Most Specialest Relationship at Victoria Miro’s Wharf Road Gallery, Grayson has created a series of pots which capture cultural icons, heroes, superstars which Americans have created and revere.
The USA is such a melting pot of history, of immigrant communities and notions of the American dream take many forms. The pots carry images of influences such as Walt Disney, Mark Zuckerberg, film stars and, of course President Trump. He features on a series of plates which resemble early English slipware which might have been produced around the English Civil War. We have Donald Trump on horseback, depicted in the way King Charles 1 would have been. The links between this country’s civil war of the 17th century and the divided society in America are acutely and wittily drawn.
The biggest piece is a vast tapestry depicting Manhatten but layered with images and symbolism and squiggles like a Jackson Pollock.
I was so delighted to have the chance to meet and chat with Grayson towards the end of the press preview at the gallery. I look forward to the Road Trip series which starts next week. And he also mentioned that the Art Club is coming back soon – what joy!