David Shrigley, illustrator of irony and the absurd

David Shrigley, illustrator of irony and the absurd

If you like dark humor, the absurd and the cynical, David Shrigley is the artist for you. Born in 1968 in England, David Shrigley completed his environmental art degree in 1991 at the Glasgow School of Fine Arts. He began his career as an illustrator with several British dailies such as The Independent , The Guardian and New Statesman .

His work raises existential questions and sometimes questions the most primary reactions of man. His messages are all the more burlesque as they are delivered through a completely simplistic, even childish style. The contrast between the depth of the subjects and the naivety of his line forms, in short, good British humor. He even explains that his drawings are sufficient in themselves and do not require further description. This is why he rarely expresses himself and promotes his work.

A versatile artist

Ranging from illustration to sculpture to photography to engraving, Shrigley is very versatile. Throughout his career, he has experimented in a large number of media. We can also note significant exhibition and installation work during a large number of events. His latest was a solo exhibition at the Stephen Friedman Gallery in Frieze London. He has also released a number of books always using his particular style.

Exhibition, Frieze London 2018

Special projects and collaborations

In the early 2000s, he created the animated music video for the song Good Song by the English rock group Blur . Totally trashy, it's a good way to approach the creator's universe. He also directed the music video for the song Agnes, Queen of Sorrow by Bonnie Prince Billy.

Another interesting collaboration is that with the football club AS Velasca . This Italian club, created as a total work of art by the artist Wolfgang Natlacen in 2015, is only made up of amateur players and plays in the 9th division of the Italian football federation.

In parallel with sport, each year she commissions creators and artists from all over the world to design and develop the club. This ranges from general equipment, team jerseys to graphic and sound identity. David Shrigley then had the opportunity to imagine the yellow and red cards of the refereeing.


David Shrigley's jokes have also been developed through a wide range of merchandising published by Third Drawer Down.

Beyond a selection of books, prints, greeting cards, card games, it is possible to acquire objects, each more unusual than the other. We can think of the Cocain salt/pepper shaker game. & Heroin which is a hit as well as patches, tea towels, mugs and T-Shirts. It is also possible to acquire one of the variations of the Swan Thing .

View our David Shrigley products, here

This swan with a facial expression worthy of a Prouvé discovering his coast in 2021, was for the first time put into volume and exhibited at the Spritmuseum in Stockholm in 2018. These giant swans inflated and deflated during 'a 12 minute cycle. They now exist as key rings, as anti-stress balls but above all as inflatable buoys, perfect for floating on a wave of discomfort in the campsite swimming pool.

Exhibition Exhibition of Inflatable Swan-Things and Other Things © Anders Sune Berg