Image: David Shrigley, The Dead And The Dying, 2010 © The Artist
David Shrigley was born in Macclesfield, England in 1968 and studied at the Glasgow School of Art. In 2003 he animated the music video for ‘Good Song’ by Blur. Between 2005 and 2009 he produced a weekly cartoon for The Guardian newspaper and he is currently the political cartoonist for the New Statesman magazine. In 2013 he was shortlisted for the Turner Prize.
Shrigley is best known for his drawings and photographs, which make witty observations on mundane situations from everyday life. His works tap into a particularly British sense of humour, including puns, double entendres, sarcasm and pessimism; they are regularly reproduced as greetings cards, T-shirts and badges and are extremely popular around the world.
Shrigley’s playful approach is also underpinned by a fascination with mortality and morbidity, which surfaces throughout his drawings and sculptures. The Dead and the Dying (2010) features 36 glazed ceramic figures arranged in various positions that hint at illness and demise. I’m Dead (2010) is from a series of works featuring taxidermal animals – in this case a dog, who comically holds up a placard emblazoned with the slogan of the title. Such literal-mindedness has an immediate comic effect, toying with our expectations of the subject.