Grayson Perry says working class Brits ‘spend all their money on tattoos’

Artist Grayson Perry has claimed there is a difference in the way middle-class and working class Britons spend their money in a new interview.

Speaking on Twiggy’s podcast Tea With Twiggy, the Chelmsford-born Turner Prize winner, 60, said working class people splash money on ‘things people can see’ like ‘flash cars, clothes and tattoos’ because they don’t live in houses they want to show off. 

Meanwhile middle-class people want to draw attention to where they live and might ‘leave their curtains open’ so people can see their designer kitchen, according to the artist. 

Artist Grayson Perry, 60, has said that working class Brits spend all their money on tattoos, hair-dos, flash cars and clothes and that working class Brits wanted to show off ‘every damn penny’ they spent

Perry, who himself was born into a working class family, said: ‘A traditional British working class person wants you to notice every damn penny they have spent and it’s going to be on gold and on the most high-tech things.  

‘A working class person often feels that they want to spent it [money] on things that are to do with going out in the world. 

‘They want to spend it on their clothes, their car, their hair and their make-up, and tattoos.

‘They want to spend it on things you can see out in the world, because often they are not living in houses they want to show off.

‘Whereas a middle class person, they’ll pile all their money into their house and then they’ll leave the blinds open so everybody walking past in Islington [north London] can see what a lovely kitchen island they’ve got.’

The artist, whose calls himself Claire when dressed as as woman, said there was a 'big divide between the classes' when it came to how they 'spent their money'

The artist, whose calls himself Claire when dressed as as woman, said there was a ‘big divide between the classes’ when it came to how they ‘spent their money’

The artist, whose creations sell for prices as high as £600,000, said, however, that everyone comes face to face with misery at some point, whether rich or poor, adding: ‘Rich people get misery too! It’s something that’s not talked about enough.’ 

When Perry was four, his father – an engineer – left the family home after finding out his mother Jean was having an affair with the milkman, whom she later married but was, according to Perry, violent – often causing him to hide in their shed.

He previously told how he then spent a largely unhappy childhood moving between both parents and dealt with his anxiety by creating a fantasy world based around his teddy bear Alan Measles.

He described the toy, a regular feature in much of his work, as a ‘surrogate father, rebel leader, fighter, pilot and undefeated racing driver’. His traumatic boyhood was a major influence on his art. 

As of 2010 he lives in north London with his wife, author and psychotherapist Philippa Perry, with whom he shares a daughter, Florence. He’s a staunch Labour supporter and endorsed Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign in the Party’s leadership election in 2015, but admitted a year later he had ‘no chance of winning an election’.

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Perry is now worth around £3.5million. 

In 2014, former Tory MP Edwina Currie caused outrage after saying people who used foodbanks spent all their money on ‘tattoos and dog food’.

The ex-MP, forced to resign as a junior health minister in 1988 after wrongly saying that the majority of egg production in the UK was affected by salmonella and lost her seat as an MP in 1997, said she was ‘troubled’ by people using foodbanks.

She told Radio Stoke: ‘I get very, very troubled at the number of people who are using foodbanks who think that it’s fine to pay to feed their dog.

‘Their dog is in good nick and beautiful, but they never learn to cook, they never learn to manage and the moment they’ve got a bit of spare cash they’re off getting another tattoo.’