David Shrigley was born in 1968 in Macclesfield, England. He studied fine art at Glasgow School of Art from 1988 to 1991. His work encompasses drawing, sculpture, photography, animation and music. Recent exhibitions include Galleri Nicolai Wallner (Copenhagen), BQ (Cologne), Anton Kern Gallery (New York), Carnegie International (Pittsburgh) and Bergen Konstall (Norway). His drawings have appeared in newspapers and magazines such as Esquire (Japan), Donna (Italy), Arena (UK), The Guardian (UK), Le Monde (France), Suddeutsche Zeitung (Germany) and The New York Times (US). He has produced animated pop promos for Blur and Bonnie Prince Billy and has produced album artwork for artists such as Deerhoof and Malcolm Middleton. Shrigley is the author of numerous books of drawing details which can be found at Redstone Press. His website is davidshrigley.com. We recently visited Shrigley’s studio in Glasgow to discuss his artwork.
I’ve drawn all my life I guess. My very earliest memories are of drawing pictures, drawing stick men and stuff. When I was about six, I was probably the best at drawing dinosaurs in my entire school. That was probably the zenith of my craft skill, when I was about six. I guess I’ve always drawn in the way that I draw now. When I was in college, I just drew in sketch books and didn’t really present that as part of my art. I thought that the finished artwork in a gallery had to be something a bit more substantial. So I made sculptural work and I made photographs of stuff that I had made outside. When I left art school, I didn’t really have the resources to make sculptural work and to make photography. So I just continued making drawings, and then I figured that the way to present those drawings was to make books. I felt like I could say everything that I wanted to say in a drawing, and I didn’t need to make any sculpture, so I realized that it was permissible to actually present a drawing, a scruffy drawing like the ones that I made, as a finished artwork in a gallery. I’m allowed to do that? I’ll do that then.