The more I think about the marginalized working classes in Britain today, the more I sympathize with the ethos of Grayson Perry’s first installment of ‘All In The Best Possible Taste’. Currently our Conservative government is blaming child poverty on the poor, claiming that “worklessness and welfare dependency, addiction, educational failure, debt or family breakdown” are sources and not symptoms of poverty (see note 1 below). As the working classes have less cultural history to identify with today, many working class people feel that their status simply means ‘poor’ (2). In a time when our government defends privilege, giving just enough to just enough other people, and demonizes the working classes as chavs poised to loot, it’s a poignant time to paint vivid picture of the tastes of the the working classes and celebrate life in all its varied forms.
Grayson Perry displays the universal signifiers of the classes in his new tapestries, from meat-raffles to working man’s club singers to cage fighters, creating new religion for the classes in an age-old form.
You can see the new tapestries in Grayson’s exhibition ‘The Vanity of Small Differences’ on now at the Victoria Miro Gallery, London: www.victoria-miro.com