Grayson Perry has unveiled a pot covered in "bad portraits" to raise money for the refurbishment of the Royal Academy.

The transvestite potter is one of more than 100 members of the Academy who have donated work to be auctioned off for the central London gallery.

His work, called Bad Portraits of Establishment Figures, will be sold along with lots by names including Anish Kapoor, Tracey Emin and architect Norman Foster.

grayson perry


He said: "I always try to do the first idea I thought of and I thought I'd do one of those portraits even though I'm not really qualified to do it."

Perry has remained tight-lipped about who the figures represent, with Emin and Sir Peter Blake thought to be among them.

He said: "I've not said, mainly because I don't want to highlight the ineptitude of my portraiture.

"I hope it goes for a lot of money. I'm always surprised by artists who are embarrassed when things fetch high prices."

Perry, who recently presented a Channel 4 documentary series called All In The Best Possible Taste, said he had signed up for another television show which he said would feature "me with people".

He said: "I call it the Jamie Oliver method. I make art and get a television show out of it as well."

The planned auction aims to raise around £2.5 million for the Royal Academy with the work being shown at an exhibition called RA Now.

The money raised will go towards the Burlington Project, which will see the Academy nearly double in size over the next five years.

Its president, Christopher Le Brun, said it was "a unique opportunity to view and buy significant works".

He said: "The money raised from the auction and sale of these works will go towards the Burlington Project, the Royal Academy's most important development since its move to Burlington House in 1868.

"The Burlington Project's aim is to make the Academy the leading international centre for visual culture for the 21st century, offering an independent voice for art and artists. The participation of the Royal Academicians in RA Now shows the depth of their support for this project."

Members of the Academy, founded by King George III in 1768 and based in Piccadilly, central London, include practising painters, sculptors, engravers, printmakers, draughtsmen and architects who are elected by their peers.

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