Grayson Perry’s New Prints Embody the Life of Essex Everywoman Julie Cope
For several years, Perry has been investigating, documenting, and celebrating the homes and landscape of Essex, the
01 from Six Snapshots of Julie (all 2015) shows her as a child on a country road; she lives in a rural locale, a reflection of Essex during the 1950s and early ’60s. In the distant background an industrial center can be seen, with a chimney belching smoke. Julie is typical of the political era, class, and place in which she was born, and wears a simple purple dress and buckled red shoes—handsome but unassuming. The next image, 02 from Six Snapshots of Julie, shows her in the ’70s, as a young adult: sexy, commanding, with a motorcycle, dressed all in red in a monotone gray world.
Soon, in 03 from Six Snapshots of Julie and 04 from Six Snapshots of Julie, Perry’s protagonist has entered full adulthood. She is married, has children, and has fostered a middle-class life with wine and fine clothing. The latter work can be seen as Julie’s young and adventurous self coexisting with her domesticated adult self. Her features, captured by Perry’s strong use of
In the next Snapshot we see the protagonist in what Perry has described as her second marriage. And finally we see her before the Taj Mahal, traveling the world. Perry has reprised this image as a metaphor in his Essex installation, describing the work as Julie’s Taj Mahal. Like artists such as
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