David Shrigley, Brain Activity. Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre. 09 Feb 2012:
‘David Shrigley is best known for his humorous drawings that make witty, wry and sometimes dark observations on everyday life. His deliberately crude graphic style has an immediate and accessible appeal, while simultaneously offering insightful commentary on the absurdities of human relationships.
Brain Activity is Shrigley’s first major survey exhibition in the UK and covers the full range of his work, extending beyond his drawings to include photography, taxidermy, sculpture, animation, painting, and music. In addition, Shrigley presents a number of new works created especially for Hayward Gallery, all of which are characterised by their varied use of humour and his abiding impulse to ‘communicate as simply and directly as possible’.’
This had to be one of the more amusing exhibitions that I have been to recently. However, it may not be to everyones taste. I’m the sort of person who has never been into the whole artsy fartsy conceptual shit, I like art straight up where I can see the talent of the artist and their aim/thoughts clearly through their work. Some people may not understand/appreciate his approach to art through sarcasm and wit. Even Shrigly himself said his drawings were ‘crap’ but what I personally like about David Shrigley is how he seems to mock modern art and isn’t afraid to give his brutally honest opinion on everyday life. He’ll draw a black square, title it ‘night time’ or decapitate a stuffed squirrel, make it hold its own head and get away with it. Shrigley comes across as a sarcastic bugger and that reflects in his work, no one does it quite as well.
When I ordered this book I was looking forward to giving it a read, however, looking inside, the layout has really put me off. Don’t get me wrong I’ll still read it but the whole book is set in bold, the margins in my opinion are too wide and why are the page numbers placed there? They’re placed awkwardly, either set the numbers in the centre or to the outside of the page. Also by being set in bold it just hurts my eyes, was the aim to make it more difficult to read? I like the concept of starting the book on the cover but the way the image has been set into the text is just ugly.