Grayson Perry (B. 1960)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Grayson Perry (B. 1960)

I Want To Be An Artist

Grayson Perry (B. 1960)
I Want To Be An Artist
glazed earthenware
22 7/8 x 18 7/8 x 18 7/8in. (58 x 48 x 48cm.)
Executed in 1996
Laurent Delaye Gallery, London.
Private Collection.
Anon. sale, Sotheby's London, 5 February 2004, lot 50.
Acquired from the above sale by the present owner.
London, Saatchi Gallery, New Labour, 2001.
Special notice
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent. VAT rate of 20% is payable on hammer price and buyer's premium

Lot Essay

I Want To Be An Artist is an outstanding example of Grayson Perry’s colourful and personal ceramic vases. This particular work is dedicated to two of Perry’s favourite American artists – Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat – who are illustrated on either side of the vase. Perry creates a visual homage to his muses by incorporating miniature leitmotifs from the duo’s respective oeuvres. Thus, embedded in Warhol’s chest we see photographic portraits that allude to his screenprinting and an illustrated shoe that chimes with his love for stylish footwear. Next to Basquiat, Perry integrates a gilded skeleton, possibly a reference to the New York artist’s untimely death at the age of twenty-seven. The decision to present both artists alongside each other is an allusion to their somewhat infamous working partnership and questionably superficial personal relationship, whilst the title resonates with the aspirational intentions displayed by Basquiat when he approached his idol at a restaurant in SoHo in 1980, brandishing a Xeroxed photograph of his selected work. The mythological implications of Perry’s work – ancient vases were pictorially adorned with pictures of gods and goddesses – transforms the piece into an affectionate shrine, dedicated to two of the twentieth-century’s most significant and distinctive artists.

More from Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Auction

View All
View All