David Shrigley

British
b. 1968

Biography

"I don't think I've ever made any conscious decision to be a comic artist, but to me there's something quite anarchic about comedy."

"I don't really want to tell jokes about trivia; I'd kind of rather make jokes about things like life and death."

David Shrigley is a British visual artist best known for his doodles, sculptures, and anecdotes which depict the world as an absurd place. He embraces the paranoias, obsessions (stalking is a favourite theme), insecurities, moral conundrums, preoccupations, and anxieties of everyday life. Everyone is fair game for his humour, from the British Royal Family to his peers in the art world. From the childlike renderings and messy handwriting of his drawings to the spontaneous “public” projects documented in photographs and his playful sculptures, his work is anti-monumental and whimsical, but inherently sincere.

David Shrigley is a British visual artist best known for his doodles, sculptures, and anecdotes which depict the world as an absurd place. He embraces the paranoias, obsessions (stalking is a favourite theme), insecurities, moral conundrums, preoccupations, and anxieties of everyday life. Everyone is fair game for his humour, from the British Royal Family to his peers in the art world. From the childlike renderings and messy handwriting of his drawings to the spontaneous “public” projects documented in photographs and his playful sculptures, his work is anti-monumental and whimsical, but inherently sincere.

Not only a visual artist, Shrigley has also written several books; directed the video for Blur's 'Good Song' and co-directed a short film with Chris shepherd (Who I Am and What I Want),based on his book of the same title, as well as producing various designs for t-shirts, album covers and even the mascot 'Kingsley' for Scottish football team,  Patrick Thistle.

Born in 1968, David Shrigley grew up in Leicester and took an Art & Design foundation course at Leicester Polytechnic before going on to study Environmental Art at Glasgow School of Art.

He was nominated for the 2013 Turner Prize and in 2016 his sculpture, 'Really Good', a bronze cast of a clenched fist with a disproportionately-long thumbs-up, was the winning commission for the 'Fourth Plinth' project and was installed on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square, London.

Shrigley's solo exhibitions include shows in Dundee (2006); Mälmo (2007); Cologne (2008); Gateshead (2008); Kuntshalle Mainz (2009); Glasgow (2010) and Turku, Finland (2011).  In 2016 his work was part of a British Council-organised international exhibition which toured worldwide.

He lives and works in Brighton.

David Shrigley
David Shrigley

News

David Shrigley and the Art of Humour
July 29, 2020

David Shrigley and the Art of Humour

‘I think the best kind of humour is the kind of humour where you don’t quite understand what you’re laughing at – you intuitively know that there’s something there that’s both funny and ‘other’.’ David Shrigley’s work is funny, there’s no doubting that, whether it be sculpture, illustration, animation or simply the written word. Fo…
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