The Vanity of Small Differences is a series of six tapestries, measuring 2m x 4m each, by the Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry. These tapestries tell the story of class mobility and the influence social class has on our aesthetic taste.
Inspired by William Hogarth’s A Rake’s Progress, the six tapestries chart the “class journey” made by young Tim Rakewell and include many of the characters, incidents and objects that Grayson Perry encountered on journeys through Sunderland, Tunbridge Wells and The Cotswolds for the television series ‘All in the Best Possible Taste with Grayson Perry’.
The television programmes were first aired on Channel 4 in June 2012. In the series Perry goes “on a safari amongst the taste tribes of Britain”, to gather inspiration for his artwork, literally weaving the characters he meets into a narrative, with an attention to the minutiae of contemporary taste every bit as acute as that in Hogarth’s 18th century paintings.
Manchester Art Gallery is only the second gallery outside London to be showing Grayson Perry's The Vanity of Small Differences.
The tour will continue to:
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (14 February – 11 May 2014)
Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool (23 May – 10 August 2014)
Leeds City Art Gallery (late August – October 2014).
An international tour will follow.
THE ADORATION OF THE CAGE FIGHTERS
THE EXPULSION FROM NUMBER 8 EDEN CLOSE
THE ANNUNCIATION OF THE VIRGIN DEAL
© The Artist Gift of the Artist and Victoria Miro Gallery with the support of Channel 4 Televsion and the Art Fund, and additional support from AlixPartners
To coincide with the display, the Arts Council Collection is launching an app for iPad and iPhone produced by Aimer Media with commentary from the artist, art historical references and a guide to the making of the works. This is Perry’s first app and will give users the chance to see the tapestries up close with detailed zoom facility and Grayson's own audio guide. The digital guide, Grayson Perry: The Vanity of Small Differences, is available only on the App Store (£1.99).