RYLAN Clark is to take his place alongside Queen Victoria, Charles Darwin and the Brontë sisters – in the National Portrait Gallery.
Transvestite potter Grayson Perry, who won the ever-controversial Turner Prize in 2003, has made the 2012 X-Factor contestant one of the subjects in his series of miniatures, statues, pots, tapestries, etchings and lithographs looking at contemporary Britain.
The ‘Who Are You?’ exhibition opens in the gallery’s 19th century collection display in autumn, putting portraits of Rylan, disgraced politician Chris Huhne, a female-to-male transsexual and a Muslim convert alongside those of prime ministers Benjamin Disraeli and William Gladstone and other Victorian notables.
Running from October 25 to March 15, the exhibition will coincide with a Channel 4 series hosted by Mr Perry on portraiture and British identity, in which viewers will get to know each sitter as they spend time with Mr Perry before getting a first look at themselves through his eyes in the gallery.
Mr Perry said: "In this show I investigate our slippery sense of who we feel we are.
“Identity seems to be something that is only an issue when it is threatened or problematic in some way.
“I have chosen as my subjects individuals, families or groups who are in situations that highlight certain aspects of being human.
"I am hoping that they will throw some light on experiences that we all share.
“With the artworks I have made, I have attempted to portray the identity narrative of the subjects, the ongoing process of 'being ourselves'."
It is not yet clear why Mr Perry chose Rylan as a sitter, though he hails from Chelmsford and will next month feature in another Channel 4 programme – ‘Grayson’s Great Design’ – on his ‘secular chapel’ to Essex women.