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Born: 1968, Macclesfield, England
Lives and Works: Glasgow, Scotland
With a deliberately naive style and an intellectually dark sense of humor verging on the absurd, David Shrigley makes drawings, paintings, sculptures, and photographs that collectively illustrate a scathing commentary on the various artistic, social, and political states of humanity. Almost without exception, his works are hilarious, cynical, and sharply intelligent, covering topics that range from music, art, politics, and health care to religion, sexuality, and life and death. Beneath the flamboyant irony and self-deprecating humor lies an undercurrent of vulnerability that lends many of Shrigley's illustrations and objects a bracing poignancy and reveals intimate notions of individual and collective identities. Here Shrigley converts the museum's Treasure Room into a modern day cabinet of curiosities. Here in I'm Dead (2007) a taxidermied kitten stands sentry with a wooden sign indicating his deceased status—an absurdly ironic yet tender work bordering on the grotesque. The artist has also painted a bright green text mural at the end of a long corridor that wittily commands the attention of any one who approaches.