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What the Hell Are You Doing?: The Essential David Shrigleyby David Shrigley
Synopses & Reviews
By turns hilarious, satirical, and brilliant, David Shrigley's full-page illustrations--a combination of drawing, comics, photography, and sculpture--are sui generis: uproariously funny, pleasantly unnerving, and, most of all, really, really cool. Neither "graphic novel" nor "art book," celebrates the surreal world of the artist who created and --the man Dave Eggers calls "probably the funniest gallery-type artist who ever lived."
"The 'gallery-type' comic art of acclaimed fine artist Shrigley, deceptively simple yet mind-blowing in its seditiousness and perspective-altering lexicography, goes where many have ventured: Saul Steinberg, Raymond Pettibon, William Powhida, and Maira Kalman among them. These artists all use text, not as a design element but for the value of text itself. Sometimes, the text integrates into a drawing or a photograph, sometimes not. Shrigley takes the idea the furthest, proving that it isn't language that determines consciousness but the other way around. It's impossible to leaf through this compilation and not emerge with the sense that some latent intellectual and emotional block, born of dread, has been at least partially lifted through a process akin to extreme mixed-media homeopathy. The variegated works showcased, from a Venn diagram presenting all the possible logical articulations of various behaviors (singing, dancing, stealing) to decapitated taxidermy (a cat, an ostrich), and dementedly funny sketches and panels drawn in Shrigley's signature childlike style (for example, a cloaked executioner taking his/her dog for a walk after a successful slaying, and a boring bus ride) possess both an inherent dadaist quality and a strong sociopolitical subtext. Taken cumulatively, Shrigley's comic illustrations and words have the effect of a miraculous mental booster drug. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Weird, funny, abject, wise, silly, savage, moral, and engaging."-- (London)
About the Author
David Shrigley has worked as a sculptor, photographer, cartoonist, author, and illustrator, and has shown work in London's Tate Gallery and in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He has directed animated music videos for such artists as Blur and Bonnie Prince Billy. He lives in Glasgow, Scotland.Will Self (b. 1961) is an English novelist and journalist. His Independent column of offbeat walking tours, "Psychogeography," has been collected into an eponymously titled book.
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