bubblesplatz: david shrigley makes shrine to michael jackson’s monkey in munich

16 April 2013
As part of Elmgreen & Dragset's public art project 'A Space Called Public / Hoffentlich Öffentlich,' gallery artist David Shrigley has created a monument to Michael Jackson's former pet-chimp, Bubbles.

Most widely known for his naïve, cartoon-like drawings, Shrigley has taken over Promenadeplatz's statue of Max II Emanual, plastering its base with photos and drawings of Bubbles as well as writings and fan art made for the chimp, who now lives at the Center for Great Apes in Florida. Having grown aggressive as he matured, Bubbles (or what might be one of perhaps many Bubbleses, as we learn from Shrigley) was shipped off to a retreat for Hollywood primates in the Valley and all but forgotten about by his owner.

The location of Shrigley's shrine is no coincidence. Just adjacent to it, Michael Jackson fans previously co-opted a statue, decking it out in memorabilia, flowers, and various other forms of homage. Nor is it the first time Bubbles has been brought into contemporary art, most famously appearing in Jeff Koons's "Michael Jackson and Bubbles" (1988). Shrigley spoke with ARTINFO Germany about the development of "Bubblesplatz" and its heartfelt contrast to his otherwise more sarcastic proclivities.

'Bubblesplatz' is installed at the Promenadeplatz, Munich and will be on display until September.

David Shrigley at A Space Called Public / Hoffentlich Öffentlich