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Grayson Perry plays with his own identity which becomes part of his art work and goes further to the ends of world art. Autobiographical references to the artist’s childhood, his family and his alter ego Claire, are linked with questions regarding the truth and the make-believe, the social class, the trends and the status of the artist against the one of the craftsmen.
The encounter between the artist and our institution has given rise to a new creation, designed especially for the Monnaie de Paris: it is a pendant in the shape of a commemorative medal to be worn on a necklace. It depicts the artist’s childhood teddy bear Alan Measles. He is represented as a war hero, decorated for his military and artistic achievements. Alan is shown at the centre of the scene, set in a radiating pattern, a kind of “glory” celebrating his talents. He wears epaulettes, pins, Greek crosses, a mauve sash on his uniform and an eight-pointed star. He appears to be an officer, perhaps a pilot. The legion of honour, which the artist wished to confer upon his subject, is a reference to the ateliersat the Monnaie de Paris that continue to manufacture this type of decoration today. As is often the case in Perry’s works, autobiographical and historical references combine. Alan wears another decoration: the portrait of a crowned female figure in the form of a jewel that refers to Claire, the artist’s alter ego. Alan holds a brush and a porte-plume in his right paw: he is an artist, a painter and a writer; he is Grayson Perry himself.
The medal is sold in its box with its specific certificate numbered.