Grayson Perry 'I am a Man' Necklace
Solid brass charm necklace. Features 10 interchangeable charms and 2 neck loops of 13cm and 16cm diameters allowing customisation by the wearer. Presentation box.
The charms on this necklace are based on elements of a brass sculpture I made for an exhibition entitled Who Are You? at the National Portrait Gallery. each of the works in the show is an image about the nature of identity, a snapshot taken from the narrative of someone's life. Our sense of ourselves feels constant but our identity is an ongoing performance changed and adapted by our experiences and circumstances. We feel like we are the same person we were years before but we are not.
The sculpture entitled I am a Man depicts Alexander White-Huggins, a female to male transsexual. As a child, Alexander was obsessed by the character Peter Pan. This is understandable for J.M.Barrie's creation has an air of fluidity around gender and sexuality. A permanently pre-pubescent boy traditionally played on stage by an adult woman. I have shown Alexander echoing the statue of Peter Pan in Hyde park but in the style of some of m favourite sculptures, the Benin bronzes of West Africa. I see him blowing the horn almost as an allegory of identity in that we are all involved in a constant call and response affirming who we want to be and responding to the signals of others.
The charms on the necklace are miniature versions of the three-dimensional symbols of cliched masculinity draped about the figure.