Witty, prolific and darkly humorous, Shrigley's drawings pinpoint moments in a disjointed stream of consciousness and reveal an offbeat world. Eccentric moral dilemmas must be faced at every turn. Every situation is simultaneously bizarre and vaguely familiar. Unusual habits, dreams, facial features, school playgrounds and bodily functions are all fair game. Shrigley's photographs record discreet interventions that the artist has orchestrated in various landscapes and interiors. Often extremely funny, these are the sort of things you never come across in real life, but wish you did.
Many of Shrigley's drawings are executed in black ink on white paper with a deceptively amateurish, child-like hand. Shrigley increasingly uses colour pens and paint in his works and has introduced a collage element to his drawings and photographs. His works usually contain text in the shape of questions, confessions or explanatory notes to the drawings. The faux-naif quality of his drawings and text renders deviant subject matter inoffensive and perverts ‘serious' contemporary issues.
Shrigley's most disturbing works directly address the audience with word games, interrogations and dialogues. A narrative voice begins to emerge as a self conscious, confessional presence and the viewer is charmed deeper into Shrigley's tangential world. Whether presenting us with dangerous pets, ugly families, or unusual skin diseases his drawings and photographs always tread over the fabric of existence, the purpose of life and the state of the human soul.
David Shrigley has participated in numerous exhibitions including The Fantastic Recurrence of Certain Situations: Recent British Art and Photography at Consejéria de Cultura in Madrid (2001), The British Art Show 5 (2000), Common People, British Art between Phenomenon and Reality curated by Francesco Bonami at Fondazione Sandretto re Rebaudengo per L'arte, Torino, Italy (1999) and Waste Management at Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada (1999). In 2000, Shrigley was shortlisted for the Becks Futures award and exhibition at the ICA, London. In September 2001, he will have a solo exhibition at Bard College, New York, curated by Amada Cruz. Numerous books have been published on Shrigley's drawings with Redstone Press, Armpit Press and Bookworks. His most recent book, Grip, is now available and published by Pocketbooks.