What Makes an Artist? Grayson Perry in Conversation with Sarah Thornton | Tate Talks

Who do artists think they are? What myths are they rejecting and propagating? What is the social role of artists in different countries around the world today? How do artists negotiate power? Self-belief? Recognition?

Author Sarah Thornton and artist Grayson Perry discuss how artists self-define and play the art-world game with particular attention to politics, kinship and craft, the three themes that structure Thornton’s forthcoming book, 33 Artists in 3 Acts.

Thornton gained unprecedented access to major international artists, such as Ai Weiwei, Jeff Koons, Cindy Sherman, Marina Abramović, Francis Alÿs, Gabriel Orozco, Andrea Fraser, Christian Marclay and Isaac Julien to Damien Hirst and Grayson Perry himself. During the course of her five years of research, she investigated issues of credibility and self-belief, exploring the relationship between the artists’ everyday lives and art practices. Challenging preconceptions and unpicking the complex layers that form his identity, Perry offers insight into the influences and networks that feed into the development and production of his work.

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