Creating 400 new works is hardly a conventional response to the outbreak of Covid-19, but then again, David Shrigley is hardly a conventional artist. Shrigley, whose corpus has been described as “mordantly humorous cartoons”, has taken over Twitter and Instagram alike, long before the pandemic ever hit.
His recent move to Brighton has served to inform his artists inclination, though his formative years in Glasgow are still clear. He is currently working on the largest single work he has ever made, hoping that he does not run out of paper prior to the end of the pandemic.
He notes that Covid-19 has had little impact upon the way he choses to work – he maintains a slower pace of life, allowing him to adopt what The Guardian refers to as a “meditative form of creativity”.
“I wouldn’t say it was a new strategy,” he notes, “This is what I have always done. The only difference is that I am left alone to do it. One of my strategies is to focus on the process rather than the result. If you are just trying to complete a certain number of drawings in the day, that’s easy. If you set yourself the task of making a certain number of ‘good’ drawings, that’s really difficult.”
He continues: “All the work I make becomes about the issue of the day.”
Indeed, Shrigley notes: “Every artwork is a work in progress. Depending on who is looking at it and when, the work can completely change.”
He concludes that everyday life continues in spite of the pandemic: “I cleaned the car yesterday and, while I was happy that it was done, I think the drawing I did yesterday probably did me more good – although cleaning the car earned me more points with my wife.”