This unconventional British artist uses deadpan humor to open our eyes to the world’s most pressing issues
Born in 1968 in Macclesfield, England, Brighton-based artist David Shrigley graduated in Fine Arts from the Glasgow School of Art. Although drawing is at the heart of his practice, he works in a wide variety of mediums: sculpture, installation, animation, painting, photography and music. Both absurd and hilarious, his designs include a dead plush kitten standing on its hind legs wearing a handwritten protest sign that reads “I’m dead”, a resting elephant, a man-eating tiger, a rainbow. -sky marked with nice words ”, a pointing finger that says“ It’s your fault ”, a horn that shouts“ Please shut up ”, a newspaper headline that says“ Nobody loves you ” and a palette of artists who insist that “Art will save the world”. He remarks: “Art is only art when it is different from the art you made before. There is no point in making the art that you have already created because you have already made it. The opportunity to see it all again is an opportunity you must seize.
Today, Shrigley’s works are in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the Tate London, and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. ‘Edinburgh, among others. Last year he was named the Most Excellent Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his service to the visual arts. He concludes: “When I do a drawing, I always consider it as an act of association. It’s about finding connections between things that already exist. More and more, I feel like everything I do already exists in one way or another: I’m just making a representation of it. Art tries to find a different association between one thing and another. Art is not the creation of something new, but the creation of connections between things that already exist.
Very good (2016) – Playing with the scale, Shrigley enlarges the objects and gives them unusual proportions like this seven-meter-tall bronze sculpture, thumbs up, unveiled in Trafalgar Square for a large public art commission. The thumb is disproportionately long in the hope that this simple gesture will become a self-fulfilling prophecy: that things considered “bad” would be viewed with optimism and positivity.
Ostrich (2009) – This baffling and surreal headless ostrich, standing defiantly, is part of Shrigley’s menagerie of taxidermal creatures that reveals his morbid humor. He explains, “In a philosophical sense my art is very fatalistic, but I hope the humor redeems it slightly from being just depressing. And when it comes to death – well, I prefer to see the humorous side because you can’t change that anyway. “
The Gallery at Sketch, London (2014-2018) – After a first presentation of 239 black and white drawings on the walls of the world famous Sketch restaurant with its pink cotton candy interiors designed by India Mahdavi as part of a A long-term program of artist-designed restaurants, Shrigley returned four years later with 91 new colorful works that gave his take on the banality of everyday life.
Egg (8) (2011) – One of a series of large ovoid-shaped white glazed ceramic sculptures called “egg” in Shrigley’s distinctive handwriting, it is cartoonish and features an uneven surface demonstrating the imperfect aesthetic of handcrafted objects. hand, which draws a parallel with the character man. He says, “I like the personality of things that are a little half-finished, to have personality basically.”