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Grayson Perry
Courtesy Channel 4 Picture Publicity

Inspired by London bankers, Grayson Perry builds giant penis

The British artist’s latest sculpture is covered in banknotes and George Osborne’s face

British artist Grayson Perry has shared his thoughts on London’s bankers with a new, 68cm penis sculpture.

The ceramic piece – which is embossed with banknotes and George Osborne’s face – was made as part of the artist’s masculinity-focused series, Grayson Perry: All Man. It was created during the final episode, which focuses on the men who control the UK’s financial sector.

“There's no disputing what it is,” Perry said of the piece. “It's a big cock.”

The episode, which airs tonight on Channel 4, sees the Turner Prize winner talk to the bankers and stockbrokers of the city of London, in a bid to understand the sector’s inbuilt gender bias.

“The nicely educated, perfectly mannered gentlemen of our financial system were hard-pressed to admit that masculinity even existed, let alone had any bearing on the shape of our noble bankers’ behaviour,” Perry explained. “Men dominate the financial centre especially at the top so I wanted to make something that said it's there all the time, it's the centre of gravity that's pulling us all in.”

The artist also created a second printed piece for the episode, titled “Animal Spirit”. Made using medieval woodblock techniques, it shows a bear-like beast accompanied by the words “serious”, “objective” and “reasonable.”

“I've been interested in animal spirits as a euphemism for emotional over-exuberance in the market,” he added. “The masculinity you see in the City is cloaked long ago under gentlemanliness and rationality and ‘good business practice’. The beast still lurks, but he's very well-behaved.”

The final episode of Grayson Perry: All Man will be shown tonight (May 19) on Channel 4.