David Shrigley – Live and in person! 9/20 7pm at Quimby’s
and 9/21 at Columbia College
WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING? The Essential David Shrigley
“David Shrigley is probably the funniest gallery-type artist who ever lived.” -Dave Eggers
“With a casual gesture Shrigley points to that hideous shape whose name I’ve never known—and then he names it. And the name is profoundly, embarrassingly familiar. I’m laughing while frantically searching for a pen, so desperate to capture the feeling he has unearthed in me.” -Miranda July
David Shrigley is the rare artist that can comfortably walk the fine line between pop culture and high art. While he’s animated videos for musicians such as Blur and Bonny Prince Billy, his work can also be seen in world renowned museums such as MoMA and the Tate Modern, and his highly distinctive style has been on display in galleries in New York, Paris, Berlin, Melbourne, and beyond. He is also clearly a madman.
The aptly named WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING: The Essential David Shrigley [W. W. Norton & Company; October 24th, 2011; $35.00 hardcover] is an outrageous compilation of his illustrations, comics, photography and sculpture. His crude drawings and unexpected compositions are at once childish and clever, and each depiction oddly sincere. They capture the morbid humor of Edward Gorey, the absurdity of a Monty Python sketch, and the peculiar perspective of a Charles Addams cartoon. In short, this beautiful, full color collection is an indispensible introduction to one of contemporary art’s most fascinating and provocative minds.
The pieces in this book are an eclectic and encompassing representation of Shirgley’s interest in the surreal. From a photograph of a hot dog (affixed with googly eyes and tucked comfortably into bed) to childlike drawings of humanity’s most grotesque members (a man drinking a goblet of blood, captioned simply with “CHEERS!”) this book is a both a celebration of condemnation of humanity’s most base urges, fears, and delights.
WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING? is remarkably bold, and Shrigley leaves no topic untouched. Through colorful commentary, he explores everything from clowns to caffeine, sexuality to God, and all the delightfully inappropriate bits in between. You would be hard-pressed to find, in any other work of art, a match to Shrigley’s satirical brilliance. As Will Self points out in the introduction, “Shrigley’s photographic works suggest the refined eye of someone sent back from the future beyond the looming apocalypse, charged with assembling images that, while ostensibly of the mundane, nonetheless explain how it came to pass that humanity destroyed itself.” By turns unsettling, moving, and gut-wrenchingly funny, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING? is a revealing glimpse into an offbeat, darkly comedic, and utterly hilarious artistic mind. For more info: davidshrigley.com/
Tues, Sept 20th, 7pm here at Quimby’s Bookstore 1854 W. North Ave., Chicago
Wed, Sep 21st , 6:30pm – 9:30pm at Columbia College Chicago – Stage Two 618 S. Michigan Ave., 2nd Floor — Quimby’s will be there to sell books!
These events are co-sponsored by Quimby’s Bookstore, Columbia College and AIGA Chicago.