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Grayson Perry: 'Most modern art is rubbish'

The Turner Prize-winner said he likes 'very little' contemporary work

Daisy Wyatt
Friday 20 September 2013 14:33 BST

Grayson Perry has called modern art "rubbish", claiming to like "very little" contemporary work.

The Turner prize-winning artist said that the art world was "happy to dig down in the lower regions of society" but was "frightened of the middle classes with good taste".

Perry, who describes himself as an "Essex transvestite Potter", said he realised modern art had reached the mainstream after hearing a conversation on The Archers about the Fourth Plinth.

"For me, the watershed moment was when Lynda Snell - the kind of self-appointed cultural ambassador to Ambridge - fought a campaign to try to get someone from Ambridge on to the Fourth Plinth when Antony Gormley was doing the One And Other project," he said.

Perry, who was delivering the inaugural Radio 4 Reith Lecture, said he feared some members of the art world were frightened of his "middlebrow" appeal, according to The Telegraph.

He said: "Although we live in an era where anything can be art, not everything is art.

"I think the art world is happy to dig down into the lower regions of society for a bit of gritty reality, but what it's frightened of is the middle classes with good taste, often. Maybe I appeal to too many of those people."

When asked about his own tastes he said: "I like very little contemporary art. I think that's quite a healthy way to look at it. Contemporary art is all being made now, so most of it is rubbish.

"At any one moment most of the art being made is awful."

He added he was fearful of the "trendies" liking his work. He said: "When the trendy, fashionable people like your work there's the inevitability of becoming unfashionable."

The speech, along with three other lectures Perry is yet to give, will be broadcast on Radio 4 on consecutive Tuesdays from 15 October.

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