Parodies in pottery – By D.H.Rosen – Special to The Japan Times

Controversial U.K. artist Grayson Perry brings his clay menagerie to Kanazawa
At first glance, the colorful, classically shaped vase adorned with flower prints and pictures of doll-like young girls seems harmless enough. It’s the second look that throws you.

A step toward the enormous vessel reveals a much less wholesome scene of young children wielding weapons, smoking drugs and dismembering their stuffed toys. A billboard in the background bears the perplexing sign, “Fxxk Our Car” while a Madonna-and-child decal decorates the foreground.

Such is the unsettling world of British artist Grayson Perry as depicted in the piece, “Plight of the Sensitive Child,” on display now at the 21st Century Kanazawa Museum as part of “My Civilization,” his debut in Japan.

The disparity between Perry’s ornate decorative style and dark subject matter is not a coincidence, but a strategy the artist calls “guerrilla tactics” ? an artful method of luring an unwitting audience into his troubling realm. Perry refers to his own work as “poison treasure,” an apt description of jewel-like pots that entice with their bright colors and elaborate surfaces, only to quickly betray expectations with their images.