The artist David Shrigley was born in Macclesfield, England, in 1968. He attended Glasgow School of Art, graduating in 1991 with a 2:2 in Fine Art. After a few months of signing on the dole, he found work in art galleries as a guide and exhibition installer, employment which continued in various forms for five years as he sought to establish himself as an artist. He still lives and works in the city of Glasgow.
His original goal was to become a cartoonist, and his work still has many of the elements of cartooning, even though he works in the world of fine art, often exhibiting in galleries. His drawings, photographs and sculptures are filled with a mocking wit, and often make large use of words, captions and even speech balloons. He has produced a number of very funny books containing his drawings, most of which are published by Redstone Press.
His style is often deliberately crude, with slogans scrawled across photographs, and primitive drawings with words scored out. His unevenly-spaced, up-and-down text would be laughed at by anyone doing lettering for a comic book. Most of his work focuses on the mundane, or brings out the mundane in the fantastical, such as his application form for superheroes, which ascertains their hourly rates and nobility with equal bureaucratese. His works also include Red Kermit (1998), a photograph of a red puppet frog lying prone by a river; and Time To Choose (1998), featuring impressive yet crudely-drawn allegorical figures of "Good", "Evil" and "Don't Know".
"This artist takes on everything: memory and forgetting, love and hate, murder and preservation, god and godlessness." Will Self, 1998.
Recent exhibitions of his work include:
Partial bibliography of books by David Shrigley:
- David Shrigley. "David Shrigley: first steps". http://www.anweb.co.uk/l_04_c1/c1a04.htm. January 28, 2002.
- Dare Online. "David Shrigley". http://www.dareonline.org/themes/play/shrigley.html. January 28, 2002.
- Dare Online. "Image Gallery". http://www.dareonline.org/artwork/shrigley/. January 28, 2002. (includes 4 pictures).