Born into a working class community in Warrington in the mid-1960s, I was the first member of my family to go to university. 
 
I studied painting in Leicester Polytechnic for my BA. I did my MA in cultural studies at the Royal College of Art and wrote a thesis on philistinism which led to a book I co-wrote with John Roberts for Verso called ‘The Philistine Controversy’.
 
I completed my PhD at the University of the Arts London on the economics of art. I was Professor of Art at Valand Academy, University of Gothenburg (2015-19) and I am Reader in Art and Marxism at Chelsea College of Art.