Grayson Perry creates giant ceramic penis inspired by City of London bankers

'There's no disputing what it is. It's a big cock.'

Christopher Hooton
Thursday 19 May 2016 12:13
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Grayson Perry's Channel 4 series explores contemporary masculinity
Grayson Perry's Channel 4 series explores contemporary masculinity

Turner prize-winning artist Grayson Perry’s voyage into masculinity has led him to create a 68cm tall glazed ceramic phallus in the image of the City of London’s bankers.

"There's no disputing what it is,” Perry said. "It's a big cock."

The artwork was temporarily exhibited in The Shard as part of his Channel 4 series Grayson Perry: All Man, which explores contemporary masculinity and concludes on 19 May with an episode focusing on the City’s financial sector. The phallic vase features banknotes and photos of chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne's face.

“I was thinking of an object that could hold its own amongst all the marble (of the City lobbies) but drew attention to the unquestioned maleness of its world,” Perry added.

"Men dominate the financial centre especially at the top so I wanted to make something that said it's there all the time, it's the centre of gravity that's pulling us all in."

Object in foreground by Grayson Perry. The artist has been inspired by the City of London's bankers and traders to create a huge glazed ceramic penis. The artwork, which stands 68cm tall, is embossed with images of bank notes, designer objects, and city workers. The final episode of Grayson Perry: All Man sees the artist exploring the City's finance sector as he examines contemporary masculinity
Grayson Perry explores notions of masculinity in his new documentary series

He has also created a second piece, titled 'Animal Spirit' (above), which consists of a large-scale print of a monstrous beast emblazoned with words including “serious”, “reasonable” and “objective” and was made using Renaissance-era woodblock techniques.

"I've been interested in animal spirits as a euphemism for emotional over-exuberance in the market,” he said.

"I started of course with the two most common animals associated with the financial markets which are the bull and the bear... this is half bull, half bear but all male.

"The masculinity you see in the City is cloaked long ago under gentlemanliness and rationality and 'good business practice'.

"The beast still lurks, but he's very well-behaved."

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