May 19, 2003


The works of Glasgow-based artist David Shrigley are superficially inept, often pathetically so.

Untitled drawing by David Shrigley.

Behind the the badly-drawn cartoons, the banal photographs, and the carelessly-assembled sculptures, however, there is ample evidence of a fascinating personality at play.

'Lost', photograph by David Shrigley, 1996.

I’ve only ever seen his work in books, and on-line, and wonder, if I were to see them in a clean, well-lit gallery space, if I wouldn’t feel that they didn’t really belong there.

Untitled drawing by Shrigley.

In the end, though, it doesn’t really matter to me if he is considered a faux-naïf fine artist, or a fourth-rate cartoonist with pretensions: I just like what he does.

'Your Parents, You, Your Wee Sister and The Social Services', 2001.

His work straddles the line between funny (peculiar) and funny (haha) with aplomb, and seems to me to occupy some of the same conceptual space as Ivor Cutler’s songs and monologues, albeit in a different medium.

'Contemporary Art', drawing by David Shrigley.

Mr. Shrigley is represented by the Stephen Friedman Gallery in London, the Galerie Yvon Lambert in Paris, and the Nicolai Wallner Gallery in Copehagen. All of these images will be Copyright © the artist.

Limited edition tie by David Shrigley, 2000.
Posted by misteraitch at May 19, 2003 02:04 PM | TrackBack

Mostly, I agree with him. I think I'll put him in the category: 'It would be interesting to have a beer or two with that person.'

Posted by: Rara Luna on May 19, 2003 07:46 PM

Oh my! Once again, thank you for putting on track with yet another fascinating person/book/art piece. This guy is WONDERFUL!

Posted by: Alejandra on May 20, 2003 03:29 AM

I've seen a fair amount of Shrigley's stuff in galleries, and I think you've hit the nail on the head with the comment about 'clean, well-lit gallery space', but I'd say that the fact that his work looks out of place and uncomfortable in a gallery setting adds to it, rather than detracting from it. I remember a show at the National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh (a very staid, old-fashioned, museumy space) and a funny little Shrigley was hanging in amongst a lot of more traditional portraiture - it looked like someone had snuck in and added his photograph without anyone noticing, which seemed awfully appropriate.

Posted by: Jack on May 20, 2003 01:49 PM

wel i cant draw for anything and im not really into art-well iv been to tate modern and thats about it-and i watched a show about him and i think this guy is the funniest thing i have ever seen!i love the cup of tea for sale thing he did that is my favourite!

Posted by: sam on December 7, 2003 12:59 PM

who has edited the "lost" photo. Someone has photoshopped the paper on the left side. Originally it had notebook edges.

Posted by: Amy on February 21, 2004 11:40 PM

Thanks for pointing that out Amy - I don't know where or by whom the image was altered: it was like that when I picked it up. Alas, I lazily neglected to cite my sources for these images, and have since forgotten where I picked them up from.

Posted by: misteraitch on February 23, 2004 01:29 PM

Thanks for posting this I have only just seen david's work for the first time this week. (I'm in Australia) I have been trying to describe how the world is seen using cartoons myself and found david's work and approach very interesting.

This is my approach to non-dual reality . . .

Posted by: Bob Seal on July 24, 2007 05:44 AM
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