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11 September 2014updated 26 Sep 2015 7:47am

Uncovering the Great White Male: Grayson Perry to guest edit the New Statesman

The Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry is to guest-edit a special issue of the New Statesman, themed around the "Great White Male".

By Helen Lewis

The Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry is to guest-edit a special issue of the New Statesman, due out on Thursday 9 October.

Perry, whose celebrated Reith Lectures for BBC Radio 4 last year helped redefine the appreciation and understanding of contemporary art, will be joined by friends and supporters, as well as regular NS contributors, for a special issue examining the phenomenon of THE GREAT WHITE MALE: the white, middle-class, middle-aged, heterosexual man who dominates western society.

Features will include a conversation between Perry and Martin Amis on creativity and masculinity, an essay from Perry and contributions from the GQ editor, Dylan Jones, the critic A A Gill, the philosopher Alain de Botton, the feminist author Roxane Gay and more. The hugely popular artist and potter will be using his issue to launch a “New Man’s Manifesto”, with help from Stephen Fry, Margaret Atwood, Mary Beard and Rowan Williams. Grayson Perry will create an exclusive cover for the issue.


Grayson Perry said: “Being allowed to guest-edit the New Statesman is a great privilege and a lot of fun. Unlike the people we are writing about in this issue, I am unused to wielding such power and find it intoxicating. I hereby announce my candidacy for the London mayoral election.”*

Tom Gatti, the culture editor of the New Statesman, said: “Already a great artist, Grayson Perry has in recent years become one of our sharpest and wittiest social critics. We’re looking forward to him training his sights on that powerful but curiously unexamined ethnic tribe: the great white male.”

To mark the guest edit, Perry will take part in a special NS event at the Royal Institution on Monday 13 October, where he will be in conversation with Miranda Sawyer. Tickets are available now from:

Perry has recently published a book adapted from his Reith Lectures entitled Playing to the Gallery: Helping Contemporary Art in Its Struggle to Be Understood. The Bafta Award-winning presenter will also be exploring portraiture and identity in a three-part series for Channel 4 in October.

Previous guest editors of the New Statesman, the award-winning weekly politics and culture magazine and website, include: Russell Brand, whose revolution-themed issue in 2013 caused a global internet sensation; the former archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, whose edit triggered a rift between Lambeth Palace and Downing Street; the Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei, whose issue won an Amnesty International UK award for human rights journalism; Richard Dawkins; the former Labour leadership contender David Miliband; and Jemima Khan, who is now associate editor of the magazine.

  • To book tickets for the NS event with Grayson Perry on 13 October (£15 excluding VAT + booking fee), visit

* Grayson Perry will not be running for mayor. As far as we know.

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