Friday, 23 November 2012

Cycle of Violence

This Graphic Novel by Turner-Prize winning artist Grayson Perry was written and published back in 1992. Now, two decades on, it has been re-released as a deluxe hardback edition, with a new foreword by the artist.
The story is of Bradley Gaines, a professional cyclist (no relation to Wiggins!) in the year 2023 who is fighting his inner demons as a result of an abusive childhood. Cycle of Violence is a work of aggressive catharsis; It is impulsive, immediate and deeply personal. 
Grayson Perry, inspired by outsider artists such as Henry Darger, created a work that has the look and feel of Outsider Art; It is crude, but honest. In style, it pays homage to the ornate looping graphics of Aubrey Beardsley, drawing the viewer into the visual carnage with contrasting sensitivity. 
Perry describes reading it again as "a striking encounter with my younger angrier self".  But whilst it may represent a very different moment in his life, it is instantly recognisable as the work of the superstar we know today. It glitters with his trademark humour: that ability to not take himself too seriously, which is all too rare and so so valuable.

Cycle of Violence by Grayson Perry costs £16.50 and is available in the Bookartbookshop now. It is published by Atlas Press.

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