Grayson Perry is an accomplished English artist and critic. In 2003, he won the Turner Prize, one of the country's most prestigious awards. Then in 2013, he was chosen to deliver the Reith Lectures, a BBC series of radio talks. This snappy volume is based on those lectures. He answers the questions so many of us have about art and sculpture when we are looking at postmodern art. Grayson has provided a valuable service by unlocking the inward-looking art world of artist, museum, critic, dealer, and collector.

Right now, Pop Art is very popular. There is a big exhibit of it at the Tate Museum in London, the first or second most visited tourist destination in Britain and the fourth most popular museum in the world with 5.3 million visitors a year. Equally important, there is a lot of money in the art world – $66 billion in 2013.

Here are some of the relevant questions Perry asks:

  • What is quality, how might we judge it, whose opinion counts, and does it even matter anymore?
  • What counts as art? Although we live in an era when everything can be art, not everything qualifies.
  • Is art still capable of shocking us or have we seen it all before?
  • How do you become a contemporary artist?

Besides asking all the right questions, Grayson spices up the proceedings with full-color sketches and illustrations that are both playful and thought-provoking. Along the way, he offers his opinions on hi-tech, the new media, the value of art schools, the world of art's obsession with novelty, and the yearning to be subversive.