For all you old Klaus and Fritz readers out there you might have encountered almost this article before. About a month or so ago we wrote about the upcoming Shrigley exhibition but now when it’s finally open, we had to write about it again. You’ll understand once you read through this article, I promise.
First off, it’s not all about Shrigley. At the same time the Shrigley show opened, so did an Alex Prager one. She’s a self-taught photographer (go girl!) who creates quite astounding pieces of photographic and video art. Her work is in Technicolor and feels like remnants of old films and characters that you feel you kind of knows. And despite the colourful exterior, there’s always a sense of anxiety running through her work. You first glance and find it gorgeous, and then go back and find it slightly disturbing. As good art should do! (If you want to see more of her work or can’t make it to NGV, do check out the ebook she has created with them)
Then Shrigley. Oh my. I knew I was going to love it, just not how much. This is art, but it’s not complicated to appreciate. It’s the kind of show where I know I could bring my husband and he’d have a blast. And that is saying a lot (I am sorry Peter, I promise, I still love you). It’s deadpan, dark and absolutely amazing. From the walls of drawings that are odd, weird and wonderful, to the large sculpture of a naked man (with abs and a beer gut!) that ever so often closes and opens his eyes and pees (although I missed this part).
It can get quite intense though. During the media preview we got to attend, Shrigley himself described his books with drawings as “being banged on the forehead over and over by a spoon”. Although we have to say that it’s one great spoon. In order to counteract that he left a little napping corner in a part of the exhibition, as you might need a little bit of a break to take it all in.
And once you’re done with the exhibition there’s a Shrigley only gift shop, where you can go crazy and books, cups, air fresheners and whatnot, which all come with deadpan humour and drawings. I had to literally pull myself away from there not to spend every single cent in my bank account in there… Just a fair warning!
180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
14 November 2014 – 1 March 2015
14 November 2014 – 19 April 2015