Some surprisingly sensible bits from Grayson Perry

Still no idea what the frocks are about but these bits make sense:

Where would you say the value of art comes from? Marx argued that value comes from labour. How does that relate to art, especially your art and forms like ceramics and tapestry? (Ella, Birmingham)
When I walk into one of my exhibitions, I certainly think, “Wow, there’s a lot of man hours.” Consciously or otherwise, I subscribe partly to Marx’s statement, though I wouldn’t call myself a Marxist. It’s fascinating, the idea of value in the art world, because at a certain point, it goes stratospheric and it’s ridiculous. It’s pure market economics, and value is what somebody will pay for it.

A ritual nod to the Marxist idiocy and then that statement of the blindingly obvious truth. This also:

Are all motives governed by self-interest? (Chris, Newcastle)
I think there is probably a bit of truth in that. The phrase that is around a lot is “virtue signalling”, but we’ve evolved to virtue signal because we want to be seen as a good member of the group. If your group approves of altruistic acts, then you do altruistic acts in order to get status.

An awful lot of poor folk have been fed over the years as a result of Lady Bountiful gaining social stature by doing so.

7 thoughts on “Some surprisingly sensible bits from Grayson Perry”

  1. Perry seems a bit more thoughtful than the norm in the art world. I suspect he can get away with expressing it a bit more too because of the frocks.

    Personally I don’t get the appeal of his pottery at all, but he’s actually quite an interesting art commentator.

  2. I think the distinction is that the virtue used to require some sacrifice. Putting up #BringBackOurGirls isn’t the same thing as putting your hand in your pocket to fund mercenaries.

  3. BoM4 – I think the distinction is that the virtues used to be virtuous.

    Feeding the hungry chimney sweeps and not selling granny to the experiments is meritorious. Encouraging small children to get on the tranny train and welcoming rapefugees is psychopathy.

  4. If your group approves of altruistic acts, then you do altruistic acts in order to get status.

    That is, don’t fucking talk about it, fucking do it. Seems to have mysteriously gone missing, that actual action.

    For art, value comes from scarcity and provenance. For Perry, the value of the provenance comes from the fact he ponces about in dresses. Labour, man-hours, nearly doesn’t come into it at all.

  5. You’ve got a point Steve. For example, I thought Oz giving Fiji a bit of help after a hurricane was virtuous. But I feel that giving aid to all parties involved in the Yemen war so the damn thing will go on and on and on, or Sahrawi ‘refugees’ so they can keep raiding into the Western Sahara, is as you say psychopathy.

  6. Ducky McD..

    “For art, value comes from scarcity and provenance.”

    Only in part. Value in the art world comes from marketing, connections, puffery and making sure that a known ‘patron’ (Saatchi, et al) buys a piece. It is the most corrupt, murky and distorted market of all.

    I have two cousins who have played the game to perfection – they already had the Tatleresque connections – and now sell their pieces in the high six-figures.

  7. Well, yeah. There’s a fair amount of pissing about going on.

    FWIW it’s worth, there’s a sculptress down the round from me (well, it’s a bit of a schlep, really) who doesn’t get involved in that stuff at all, although she’s done work for some higher profile slebs. Gets paid per commission.

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