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Publisher's Summary

"It's easy to feel insecure around art and its appreciation, as though we cannot enjoy certain artworks if we don't have a lot of academic and historical knowledge. But if there's one message that I want you to take away it's that anybody can enjoy art and anybody can have a life in the arts - even me! For even I, an Essex transvestite potter, have been let in by the artworld mafia."

Now Grayson Perry is a fully paid-up member of the art establishment, he wants to show that any of us can appreciate art (after all, there is a reason he's called his book Playing to the Gallery and not Sucking Up to the Academic Elite).

In this live recording from the Reith Lectures (2013), he talks about his own funny, personal journey through the art world and answers the basic questions that might occur to us in an art gallery but seem too embarrassing to ask. Questions such as: What is good or bad art - and does it even matter? Is there any way to test if something is art, other than a large group of people standing around looking at it? Is art still capable of shocking us or have we seen it all before? Can you be a lovable character and a serious artist - what is a serious artist anyway? And what happens if you place a piece of art in a rubbish dump?

©2014 Grayson Perry (P)2014 Penguin Books Limited

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What listeners say about Playing to the Gallery

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Not a book

This is four lectures availble for free at the BBC website which is why I gave it a bad review. The four lectures though where fantastic.

9 people found this helpful

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Substance Behind the Shimmering Eyeshadow

Would you listen to Playing to the Gallery again? Why?

You can't afford an art piece created by Grayson Perry so for a single Audible credit have a listen to his insightful contemporary art world overview. I did and will again.

What did you like best about this story?

Listening is like being with Perry after his bath but before the makeup. Although Perry is in his customary drag attire when delivering his orations there are no distractions from his messages which are humorously honest and at times ...just honest.

Which character – as performed by Grayson Perry – was your favorite?

Grayson Perry is a character of himself in this biographical reflective psychoanalysis of the contemporary art world.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

A little laughter and a lot of reflection.

Any additional comments?

A trustworthy one point perspective of contemporary art history from the self proclaimed cynical artist Grayson Perrry .

1 person found this helpful

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  • 10-26-16

Joyful and inspiring

Grayson Perry is marvelous; his perspective on the art world is refreshing and lighthearted, yet aptly serious when necessary. A short listen, but I found myself laughing along with the audience, and inspired by how he defines quality. The man is a joker, but he really knows his stuff - can't recommend enough. Only caveat - too short to use your credits for! Buy this one, and save the credit for something longer.

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  • J. Evans
  • 08-17-20

Is this the actual book?

I’m not sure that this qualifies as an audiobook version of the actual book...? It is the recording of the Reith lectures, which are great as they are but having picked up and flicked through the paperback, I feel I’ve been short changed. I’ll go and buy the physical book to see what has been left out...

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amanda
  • 01-28-17

Grayson the legend

loved it!! inspirational and funny! Also I'd recommend this for all art students to listen to as so much worthy advice from an amazing get artist!

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  • ::m::
  • 08-25-18

Not a book. A series of recorded talks.

A series of talks given at various venues. Audience clapping and laughing in the background. People standing up to ask questions.
Perry is a clever guy, but in this recording can’t resist the temptation to just please the crowd and be witty. Not very cerebral in terms of art theory. He can do better than this.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-25-21

what a waste of time.

Struggle to listen to this self centered dribble. To question if primative art is art. Claiming that they borrow from contemporary art, to be apart of the canon. One just one of the stupid point Perry makes. Combined with the obviously statements about the art world. Just a complete waste of time.

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  • colin bowring
  • 07-15-21

An Artists many truths.

The things that Perry said is true. All of them. Great insight, very entertaining memorable.

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  • CONNOR MCINTYRE
  • 04-26-21

Brilliant Grayson ....

Grayson Perry giving the Reith Lecture ... what more does one need. Brilliant Grayson Perry !!

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  • Tmf
  • 07-15-20

funny, insightful and worth a listen

Grayson Perry is a great orator, iinteresting lectures, easy to follow and I binge listened!

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  • Mark Taylor
  • 05-03-20

Superb!

A must listen by anyone with an interest in art, contemporary or otherwise, an even more essential listen for those that think they do not understand art.

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  • Gaye I.
  • 04-26-20

Wonderful

I'm so glad that I listened to this rather than read it. It was good to hear the artist's voice, the narrator who at times sounded like David Attenborough observing the art world

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  • victoria carver
  • 03-22-20

witty, entertaining with facts

love listening to it all inclusive, witty and light hearted. factual and enlightening art world

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  • Robyn Kinsela
  • 06-13-18

So inspiring

Grayson Perry's openness and honesty about what he thinks are thought provoking and inspiring. He introduces us to another way of thinking within the often restricting art world environment. It's not only OK to be different but it is admirable to stand fast with your beliefs.