The Walthamstow Tapestry
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rzarlif's picture


Grayson Perry created 15 meters of sparkling bright and intricate tapestry that blasts our non-stop consumerist ways...and the companies that promote the products.

Hundreds of household brand names are woven into the fabric, which starts on the left with birth, very vividly depicted, to death on the right side. Death is the devil, so there's no uncertainty about what fate lies ahead. Grayson's a witty equal opportunist.  Luxury brands Louis Vuitton and Tiffany's share space with Birkenstock, Volvo, IKEA, and low-end supermarket TESCO.

In the middle of the tapestry, a beautifully outfitted woman is tearfully clasping her latest buy, the ultimate consumer product as Grayson calls it: the leather vagina, a designer purse.

Brand names are the religous icons in this temple of consumerism. No logos though. Each brand is scribbled randomly amidst depictions of day-to-day activities such as walking the dog, pushing a pram, and shopping. And not-so daily activities and objects, like shooting heroin, suicide bombers, and cruise missiles.

In a perfect act of consumerist worship, one of China's many new art museums, the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, bought the Walthamstow Tapestry in 2014 for a bargain price of $745 million. A-frickin'-men.