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Transvestite art on Turner list

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LONDON, England -- A transvestite who depicts sex acts on pottery vases is among the nominees for this years controversial Turner Prize.

The shortlist for the annual 20,000 prize for contemporary art announced Thursday includes Londoner Grayson Perry. Perry -- who has an alter ego called Claire -- is well known for his ceramics that depict subjects such as pedophilia, child abuse and the events of September 11.

Other finalists include two of the UK's most contentious artists -- brothers Jake and Dinos Chapman -- famous for adding grotesque faces to re-created Goya etchings.

Also nominated are Irish photographer Willie Doherty and sculptor Anya Gallaccio, whose work has included a 34-tonne ice cube with salt at its center.

The UK's best known modern art award, now in its 20th year, has been widely criticized during that time by press and politicians as outlandish and a waste of money. Last year's nominations were described by UK culture minister Kim Howells as "conceptual bullshit."

Perry, 44, also works with textiles and has made outfits for his other self Claire posing wearing them, according to the UK's Press Association.

Perry's previous work, "Claire As The Mother Of All Battles," depicts him wearing a Russian folk dress while carrying a semi-automatic weapon.

"It's for the diversity and strength of his vision for which he has been shortlisted," PA quoted Andrew Wilson, who was a member of the nomination panel, as saying.

Perry has spoken about his work saying: "A lot of my work has always had a guerrilla tactic, a stealth tactic.

"I want to make something that lives with the eye as a beautiful piece of art, but on closer inspection, a polemic or an ideology will come out of it."

The Chapman Brothers, Dinos, 41 and Jake, 36, have previously created scenes of death and destruction in "Hell" using 5,000 miniature Nazi figures.

Previous winners of the prize, named after the great English artist, JMW Turner, include Chris Ofili who exhibited a Virgin Mary made out of elephant dung and Damien Hirst who pickled a sheep in formaldehyde.

Last year's winner, Keith Tyson, won with a Kentucky Fried Chicken menu encased in lead.

The shortlisted nominees' work will be exhibited in Tate Britain gallery in London from October 29.

The winner will be announced on December 7.

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