Artist Grayson Perry wins prestigious Erasmus Prize

By Keiran Southern, PA Los Angeles Correspondent

British artist Grayson Perry has won the prestigious Erasmus Prize, which is worth 150,000 Euros (£127,000).

The maverick potter, known for his tapestries, ceramic works and cross-dressing, was praised by judges for “demonstrating that art belongs to everybody and should not be an elitist affair”.

The Netherlands-based Erasmus Prize is awarded each year to an individual or institution who has made a major contribution to the arts, humanities or sciences, in Europe and beyond.

British artist Grayson Perry has won the Erasmus Prize (Ian West/PA Wire)

The theme of this year’s prize is “the power of the image in the digital era”.

Organisers said Turner Prize-winning Perry, 59, has developed a “unique visual language”.

He received the prize for “the insightful way he tackles questions of beauty and craftsmanship while addressing wider social and cultural issues,” organisers added.

Perry, who calls himself a “tranny potter”, is one of Britain’s best-known artists. Working across ceramics, tapestries, dresses and sculptures, he often explores fashion, conformity and prejudice.

Essex-born Perry won the Turner Prize in 2003 and has a female alter-ego called Claire.

The Erasmus Prize, overseen by the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation, was first awarded in 1958.

The inaugural honourees were the Austrian people, in celebration of the country’s dedication to its cultural heritage.

Other winners include silent film star Charlie Chaplin, revered filmmaker Ingmar Bergman and influential anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss.

To mark the presentation of the Erasmus Prize, the Foundation is organising a programme of events related to Perry and the theme of this year’s award.