1968 · United Kingdom
David Shrigley is a contemporary British artist, whose cartoonish and iconic style of art has gained him a reputation as one of the most subversive artists working today. His works tackle serious issues such as child welfare and unemployment, but are tinged with a dark sense of humour and aim to subvert the clichés of contemporary visual arts.
Born in 1968 in Cheshire, United Kingdom, Shrigley studied at the Glasgow School of Art. Even at this time, he eschewed traditions of formal training, and received a 2:2 for his BA, claiming that the institution didn’t appreciate his genius. Since then, however he has gained international acclaim for his work and has secured his place as one of the most recognisable and iconic artists working today. He has been recognised for his contribution to the art world by receiving an OBE (Order of the British Empire) and being nominated for the prestigious Turner Prize for art in 2013.
Alongside ink drawings, Shrigley’s practice includes sculpture, installation and animation. He works with both images and text, and finds meaning in snippets of overheard conversations which help him to create humorous and bluntly honest art works. Although crude and childish by design, and somewhat banal, his works are both sarcastic and poignant, and remind his audiences about the things that bring us together and define us as humans. This can be most acutely seen in his 2016 piece ‘Really Good’ which was situated on the famous fourth plinth on Trafalgar Square in London. Consisting of seven metre high black bronze sculpture of a hand giving a ‘thumbs up’, the piece served to give a sarcastic yet gleeful message about the political culture in Britain at the time.
Shrigley’s work is held in the collections of renowned institutions such as the Tate galleries in London and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He has held exhibitions at a number of galleries including the Spiritmuseum in Stockholm, the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Galleri Nicolai Wallner in Copenhagen and the Hayward gallery in London.