Richard Ansett: Grayson Perry at the National Portrait Gallery


Richard Ansett’s portrait of Grayson Perry as alter ego ‘Claire’ has been acquired for the National Portrait Gallery permanent collection and will be on show in Room 32 Contemporary Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery to coincide with Perry’s new exhibition ‘Who Are You’ until March 2015.

The work is the only photograph in the room otherwise devoted entirely to paintings by Lucian Freud, Andy Warhol, Howard Hodgkin, R.B.Kitaj and many other great names of British portraiture.

Grayson Perry is one of the most photographed personalities in the UK especially as Claire but this is the first photograph of him as his alter ego that has been acquired.  Ansett has worked with Perry on many occasions since and in an interview with the National Portrait Gallery says of the artist:“I want to bring a less frivolous more serious approach to the representation of him as an artist. He is rather playful and hugely intelligent with a great knowledge of art.”

Ansett has a reputation for his work with artists; his portrait of David Cronenberg sits in the National Archives of Canada and his definitive portrait of David Lynch is in the Smithsonian.

Richard has kindly shared with us shots of the image in progress of preparation before the final production of the C Type print at Metro and its installation into the National Portrait Gallery.

“Working with a printer is a very important relationship.  My vulnerability and weaknesses are on show and the relationship demands great patience and empathy.  Decisions are made carefully and quietly and must represent the photographer’s practice, sometimes against the instincts of the printer.  A great printer has the ability to work along side the mindset of the client and I feel that Tim and I have reached a level of understanding conducive to creating some great work together.”

National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place, London, WC2H 0HE

Exhibition dates: 25th October 2014 – 15th March 2015
Opening times: Daily 10:00am – 6:00pm
Thursdays and Fridays 10:00am – 9:00pm

Admission to the exhibition is free

For more information about Richard Ansett
For more information about Room 32 Contemporary Portraits

For full details of the National Portrait Gallery exhibition
For more details of the ‘Who Are You?’ TV show

Image © Richard Ansett/BBC/National Portrait Gallery
Original image commissioned for BBC Radio 4 Reith Lecture 2013
Images 1 Hanging the print at The National Portrait Gallery
Images 2 – 3 Image in progress of preparation before the final production of the C Type print