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Arts Culture STEM Competition Tuesday 16th April 2024 Industry Opinion Local Nations

David Shrigley: The Quirky Genius of Art and Absurdity


In the wild and wonderful world of art, some artists stand out as true originals, and David Shrigley is undeniably one of them. With a knack for the bizarre and a dash of dark humor, Shrigley has captured the hearts of art enthusiasts worldwide. Let's take a peek into the mind of this English-born, Glasgow-trained, and now Brighton-based conceptual artist, as we explore his unique journey and creative process.

Over the last 30 years, Shrigley has been churning out his peculiar musings through various forms of art. He's an expert in deadpan humor and doesn't shy away from the morbid or absurd. From navigating the contemporary art world to dabbling in interactive art, Shrigley's career trajectory has been unwavering, marked by a refusal to compromise his aesthetics.

In our recent conversations, Shrigley candidly shares insights into his work and personality. One thing becomes clear - while he claims to contradict himself, he's nothing short of honest about who he is and the artistic path he's chosen.

Behind his quirky creations lies an intriguing process. Shrigley starts by scouring books and the internet for interesting images, striving to depict subjects he's never explored before. He then outlines the image and starts drawing, sometimes adding text afterward. The result is a delightful concoction of visuals and words that often take on a life of their own.

For an artist known for his humorous pieces, Shrigley has an endearing confession to make: he's slightly obsessive-compulsive. From his special doodle notebook to his peculiar drawing style, his idiosyncrasies add to the charm of his art.

Despite his success, Shrigley remains refreshingly grounded. He acknowledges that his lack of objective skill is an advantage, allowing him to create art that veers away from the overly aesthetic and leans into the awkward and strange. For him, it's not about perfection but embracing imperfection to evoke intrigue.

What's fascinating about Shrigley's work is its universal appeal. Language barriers seem irrelevant; his art connects on a deeper level, transcending words and cultures. Even if he were a master painter like Delacroix, his art wouldn't carry the same universal message.

Throughout his career, Shrigley has followed his artistic instincts, unafraid to tread where others might hesitate. His piece, the Mayfair Tennis Ball Exchange, is a testament to this. A project shunned by commercial galleries, he pursued it anyway, embracing the freedom of being an artist.

And while success has found him, Shrigley remains humble, seeing each day as an opportunity for creativity. His studio sessions, marked by excitement and motivation, are a reminder of the joy he finds in the process. Yet, he emphasizes the need for discipline, even during times of resistance.

So, what makes David Shrigley tick? Perhaps, it's his ability to hold contradictory thoughts and to change his mind, finding joy in exploring new territories within the realm of art. His art reflects the spontaneity of a child painting for the first time, coupled with the wisdom of a seasoned artist.

In the end, what truly matters is Shrigley's body of work, a testament to his unique perspective on life, art, and absurdity. As we delve into his world, we can't help but be charmed by the playful mind of this serious man.


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