Artist David Shrigley lets it all hang out.

David Shrigley Life and Life Drawing
David Shrigley Life and Life Drawing

Ever since the Charlie Hebdo incident, there has been an ongoing global dialogue about freedom of expression in the arts and literature. I saw an exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria that featured an artist who probably never heard of the words self censorship. David Shrigley’s humorous and deliberately crude drawings paper the walls of his exhibition Life and Life Drawing.

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The Glasgow-based artist has a serious case of visual diarrhea. His drawings just seem to spew out of him. No second guessing, no deliberation and certainly no thought to ‘good taste’. However I enjoyed this show tremendously – it was refreshing to see an artist who does not take life, or himself, too seriously.

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But seriously – we need a little fun and light in our increasingly dark world. The Shrigley exhibit also contained a large space set up as a life drawing class, complete with easels and chairs, newsprint paper and charcoal, and a central nude model. Only the model was a fabricated cartoonish, larger-than- life male model peeing into a bucket. I couldn’t resist having a go at capturing the moment:

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So sharpen your pencils, lighten up and let yourselves express freely, liberally. Throw caution to the wind. And if anyone objects, you know what Shrigley would say about that….

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I’d love to hear what you think of this art, and if you think this is art at all, or art that belongs in a major national gallery?

MY NEXT BLOG POST WILL BE FROM FRANCE WHERE I WILL BE SPENDING A MONTH AT AN ARTIST RESIDENCY IN DINAN, BRITTANY. A BIENTOT! WHO KNOWS WHAT CREATIVE URGES WILL COME MY WAY…

Vive la liberté!

When freedom of expression is muzzled, Art withers and dies. We cannot allow our culture to be terrorized and blackmailed. We must stand together to defend our heritage of freedom and creative expression. In the wake of the tragic terrorist attacks in Paris, France, it is uncannily timely to announce the upcoming interfaith, peace-building art exhibition in which I will be participating and have played the role of co-curator. The exhibition is titled The Bridge (Le Pont) and will open in Paris at the historic Church of Saint Germain des Pres, the oldest church in Paris.

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I will be traveling to Paris to help set up the show. The exhibition will act as an emissary of peace, traveling from Paris to Brussels, Rome, London, Cairo and the United States for 18 months. I am very honored to have played a key role and to be exhibiting my own painting alongside 46 artists of Arab, Persian and Jewish backgrounds. Below is the image of my painting entitled Narrow Bridge followed by my brief artist’s statement that explains how I found inspiration for this painting in the wise words of a hassidic mystic from the 18th century….

MILGROM Narrow bridge

ARTIST STATEMENT ON ‘NARROW BRIDGE’

“The whole world is a narrow bridge.

The main thing to remember is not to be afraid.”

Rabbi Nachman of Bratislav (1772-1810)

Within minutes of being invited to participate in The Bridge exhibition, the words of a popular Hebrew song began playing in my mind: Kol ha’olam kulo gesher tzar me’od, v’haikar lo lefached. (The whole world is a narrow bridge. The main thing to remember is not to be afraid). I was surprised to learn that these words are attributed to the rabbinical sage, Rabbi Nachman of Bratislav, born in Ukraine in the 18th century and the great-grandson of the founder of Hassidism, a mystical branch of Orthodox Judaism.

These few words have survived intact over the centuries yet they capture the essence of this exhibition. If ever there has was a time to reach across cultures, religions, borders and peoples in order to pull the world back from the brink, it is NOW. My painting ‘Narrow Bridge’ is a crude reminder that in order to bridge our differences we must conquer our fears and reach a hand across that narrow bridge without looking down.

Lilianne Milgrom

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IF YOU FIND YOURSELF IN PARIS IN THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY PLEASE JOIN US IN FORGING UNDERSTANDING AND PEACE THROUGH ART. MORE INFORMATION ON THE EXHIBITION HERE.

YOUR COMMENTS WELCOME AT THIS DIFFICULT TIME.

General Invite Paris -English