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Grayson Perry's anatomical artwork inspired by City of London bankers

Published 19/05/2016

Object in Foreground by the artist Grayson Perry, who says the ceramic penis was inspired by the City of London's bankers and traders (Channel 4/PA Wire)
Object in Foreground by the artist Grayson Perry, who says the ceramic penis was inspired by the City of London's bankers and traders (Channel 4/PA Wire)

Grayson Perry has been inspired by the City of London's bankers and traders to create a huge glazed ceramic penis.

The artwork, which stands 68cm tall, is embossed with images of bank notes, designer objects, and city workers.

The final episode of Grayson Perry: All Man sees the artist exploring the City 's finance sector as he examines contemporary masculinity.

On the artwork, titled Object in Foreground, Perry said: "There's no disputing what it is. It's a big cock."

The object was temporarily exhibited in London skyscraper The Shard as part of filming for the Channel 4 show.

Perry, 56, added: "I was thinking of an object that could hold its own amongst all the marble (of the City lobbies) but drew attention to the unquestioned maleness of its world.

"Men dominate the financial centre especially at the top so I wanted to make something that said it's there all the time, it's the centre of gravity that's pulling us all in."

Perry also created another artwork titled Animal Spirit, a large-scale print of a monstrous beast produced using the Renaissance-era woodblock technique.

The artist said: "I've been interested in animal spirits as a euphemism for emotional over-exuberance in the market.

"I started of course with the two most common animals associated with the financial markets which are the bull and the bear ... this is half bull, half bear but all male.

"The masculinity you see in the City is cloaked long ago under gentlemanliness and rationality and 'good business practice'.

"The beast still lurks but he's very well-behaved."

The beast's organs contain words including "serious", "reasonable" and "objective".

The series has seen the Turner Prize-winning artist, who is known for his ceramic vases and for his transvestism, spending time in a different ultra-male world each week.

Perry is attempting to discover what these ultra-masculine environments tell us about the changing lives and expectations facing British men today.

In the final episode, he encounters the self-titled "warriors" of the City's financial sector, and meets one hedge fund manager who admits he enjoyed 2008's financial crash.

:: Grayson Perry: All Man concludes on May 19 at 10pm on Channel 4.

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