One of my favourite gifts that I received over Christmas comprised of two books of David Shrigley’s postcards, Evil Thoughts
. Shrigley is a name I was first made aware of when he directed the videos for Blur’s 2003 single Good Song
and Bonnie Prince Billy’s 2004 Agnes Queen of Sorrow
.I have already posted an example of his work in the form of the video clip from the titles of the film Hallam Foe,
where Shrigley’s animation is married to Orange Juice’s Blue Boy
. You can find that here: Top Ten Scottish Films of the 00’s…
His deceptively simplistic style belies often disturbing and even violent imagery, as if a highly intelligent but deeply troubled child had been asked to express the thoughts in their head.
Shrigley’s work is not only dark, but genuinely funny (and how often can you say that about a contemporary artist?). Instead of trying to explain why his work appeals to me I’m simply going to fill this post with some examples so that you can decide for yourself, starting with the aforementioned Blur video:
If you like this selection then you’re probably going to like all his work, and there is plenty of stuff to check out. If, however, he’s not for you then you probably won’t enjoy the following, which is the short animation that David Shrigley made with fellow artist Chris Shepard who some may remember for animating the brilliant ‘World Staring Championships’ for the sketch show Big Train.
Who I Am and What I Want is based on Shrigley’s book of the same name, and the central character of Pete, for all you comedy nerds, is voiced by Kevin Eldon: