Grayson Perry: my secret cross-dressing album

Long before smartphones, the artist used a camera and tripod to perfect his look. As unseen pictures go on display, he opens up his personal collection

I think all transvestites are a bit in love with the camera. Long before the age of the selfie we used to joke at gatherings that we should be sponsored by Kodak as there was so much photography going on. The pictures in the album that will be shown at the Photographers’ Gallery in London were taken between 1979 and 1984, around the time I was at art school in Portsmouth. They have the charm of something set up on a rickety tripod, hoping but not knowing if I was in shot, and then printed very cheaply. The invention of the digital self-timer reversible viewfinder camera was a godsend to transvestites everywhere.

I had been dressing up for maybe seven years before these photographs were taken, but ...