David Shrigley (b 1968, in Macclesfield, England) is best known for his black and white, text-based, deceptively amateurish pen and ink drawings, however Shrigley has also produced a vast number of sculptures, monotypes, photographs, inkjet prints, animated films, paintings and last but not least, books. In 1991, Shrigley made his first book “Slug Trails”, and many since, characterized by his humorous, dark satirical drawings and writing. Through the books and his weekly drawings in The Guardian (since September 2005), the animation series “Modern thought” by David Shrigley for BBC, the music videos Blur’s “Good Song” (2003) and Bonnie Prince Billy’s “Agnes, queen of sorrow” (2004) Shrigley has developed different audiences and has managed to bridge the gap between popular culture and fine art.
The last couple of years Shrigley has developed animated films such as “Who I Am And What I Want” (2006), “New Friends” (2006), “Laundry” (2006), “The Lightswitch” (2007) amoung others, and most recently Shrigley has got himself involved in music. Shrigley made his own record “Shrigley Forced To Speak With Others” (2006), but before that the record label Tomlab had asked him to produce an artists book. In 2005 “Worried Noodles (The Empty Sleeve)” was originally published as a cover for a vinyl record with the lyrics insert “Skull for sale (Songbook)”, containing 30 (or so) songs, but the sleeve contained no record. The empty records leave/book with Shrigley “fictive” song texts was published, but the project developed and in 2007 a double CD with 39 different musicians and bands – like David Byrne, Franz Ferdinand, Grizzly bear, Hot Chip, Scout Niblett among others – playing/singing Shrigley’s lyrics.
On the backcover of the book “Grip” (2000) David Shrigley gives the Following instruction: “RULES: They say that rules are made to be broken but this is just a figure of speech. Rules are made to be kept. Rules are there to guide us. As modern world grows ever more complicated and appears to now be populated mostly by nutters rules have become increasingly important. Those who break the rules will be beaten with a rod of iron and then made to write out the rules one million times. Bending the rules is also forbidden.
Bent rules are useless.” What may seem normal to begin with often takes a drastic and grotesque turn in Shrigley’s universe. There are always consequences to one’s actions and below the surface thoughtful truths about the human condition and human soul are revealed.
David Shrigley studied Fine Art at Glasgow School of Art from 1988 to 1991, and has exhibited widely in Europe and North America including solo shows at Malmö Konsthall (Malmö, 2007), Centro de Arte Caja de Burgos (Burgos, 2007), DCA (Dundee, 2006), Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain (Geneva), UCLA Hammer Museum (Los Angeles), and Kunsthaus Zürich. His illustrations have appeared in newspapers and magazines such as Esquire (Japan), Donna (Italy), Frieze (UK), The Guardian (UK), Maisonneuve (Canada), Du (Switzerland).
David Shrigley lives and works in Glasgow.