There seems to me a search for understanding in these early ceramics that perhaps finds resolution in your later work on the multiplicity of identity, whether in Claire’s different expressions or in works like Brain Map. Yet today as the “Transvestite Potter”, you also have the neat narrative that comes with being a household name. How do you reconcile a multi-faceted self with your instantly-recognizable brand?
I like having a distinctive, easily understood brand as the Transvestite potter. It gives me a platform to explore and communicate from. I am constantly trying new avenues and techniques but having that public identity means I can take a large audience with me whether it is through art, TV, books or stage shows. One of my core missions is to communicate the complexity, nuance, compromise that is essential for human happiness. Certainty, polarisation, puritanism, perfection are all corrosive and toxic. I try to pass on the revelations, the thoughts and feelings that excite and comfort me, to my audience.
Interview by Eliza Apperly
Grayson Perry: The Pre-Therapy Years is out now. A parallel exhibit at the Holburne Museum runs through May 25.