David Shrigley

Getting to Know:

David Shrigley

17 September, 1968 -

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David John Shrigley OBE (Born: 17 September 1968, Macclesfield, England) is a highly regarded British visual artist, renowned for his sarcastically humorous childlike cartoons. His works offer a satirical commentary on human interactions and everyday situations, encompassing both the mundane and the absurd. While his art delves into darkness and sarcasm, it often carries undercurrents of optimism. Shrigley's distinctive style combines simple text and imagery, creating artworks that require no explanation and are inherently self-explanatory—a rarity in today's contemporary art world. While drawing occupies a central position in his practice, Shrigley showcases his versatility across various media, including sculpture, large-scale installations, animation, painting, photography, music, and writing.

For 27 years, Shrigley lived and worked in Glasgow, Scotland before relocating to Brighton, England in 2015, where he continues to create and reside. His artistic journey commenced with the Art and Design Foundation course at Leicester Polytechnic in 1987, followed by studying environmental art at Glasgow School of Art from 1988 to 1991. Prior to dedicating himself to art full-time, Shrigley worked as a gallery guide at the CCA in Glasgow.

Reflecting on his final degree show, Shrigley expressed to The Guardian, "I thought my degree show was brilliant, but the people who were marking it didn't. I got a 2:2. They didn't appreciate my genius. [...] I didn't sell anything at the show – it was 1991, before the YBAs. There wasn't a precedent for people selling work that wasn't figurative painting."

Shrigley's compelling artworks have been exhibited extensively worldwide, with notable solo shows at esteemed venues such as the Sketch restaurant in London, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Power Station of Art & Design in Shanghai, Yumiko Chiba Associates in Tokyo, Museum in Glasgow, and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.

His works are prominently featured in international collections, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, USA; Art Institute of Chicago in Illinois, USA; Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Germany; Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich, Germany; Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen, Denmark; Thyssen-Bornemisza Contemporary Art Foundation in Vienna, Austria; Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh, UK; Tate in London, UK; The British Council in London, UK; and the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia.

In recognition of his artistic achievements, Shrigley was nominated for the prestigious Turner Prize in 2013 for his solo show "David Shrigley: Brain Activity" at the Hayward Gallery in London. Moreover, in 2019, he was honored with the decoration of Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE).

David Shrigley's art transcends conventional boundaries, captivating audiences with its distinctive blend of wit, social commentary, and simplicity. His unique perspective continues to inspire and entertain, solidifying his position as a significant figure in the contemporary art world.


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