It’s easy for many of us to get caught up in the apparent hopelessness of the current situation, and social media can often amplify these feelings. Perhaps this is why so many Instagram users turn to the honest yet uplifting posts of David Shrigley.
But who is David Shrigley, and why do so many instagram users love his work? Let’s dive right in and find out.
Who is David Shrigley?
Born in 1968 in Macclesfield, England, David Shrigley grew up and studied in Glasgow before eventually moving to Brighton, where he continues to live and work today. During his studies, David began publishing his drawings consisting of quirky, childlike doodles.
The artist approaches his practice as a way to shun the ‘traditional’ and commercialised contemporary art sphere, instead opting for an almost graffiti style of drawing.
A self-proclaimed ‘outsider to the art world, David’s work varies from making political statements to simple observations on daily life, almost always with a silliness that can make the viewer smile.
In 2013, David was shortlisted for the highly coveted Turner Prize for a retrospective of his work which was held at London’s Hayward Gallery. In early 2020, he was awarded an OBE for his contributions to the Visual Arts sector.
The Instagram Influence
With over half a million followers on Instagram, David (@davidshrigley) isn’t short of admirers.
It could be argued that his rise to Instagram-fame began in 2018, during the Frieze London and Frieze Masters 2018 art fairs. David’s work was exhibited across both, and the charm of his exhibitions helped his work become the most-instagrammed artwork of both fairs that year.
The artwork he posts on his page varies from day to day, from uplifting and humorous to sometimes nihilistic and self-deprecating. But overall, funny is how he presents his work, with his signature portrayal of deadpan British humour appealing to his many followers.
Overall, the unpretentious nature of David’s work helps his work appeal not only to art enthusiasts, but also to people who can relate to him. As he says himself in an interview with The Guardian, “my art doesn't need explanation – it is what it is”.
We’re excited to announce that pieces by David Shrigley will be coming to Hancock Gallery soon, so stay tuned for more details!