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What The Hell Are You Doing?: The Essential David Shrigley [Paperback]

David Shrigley , Will Self
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
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Book Description

16 Feb 2012
A beautifully designed and darkly comic collection of work, this book gathers together the best of Shrigley's work, old and new. It is a celebration of the surreal world of one of our finest contemporary artists.

Frequently Bought Together

What The Hell Are You Doing?: The Essential David Shrigley + How Are You Feeling?: At the Centre of the Inside of The Human Brain's Mind + The Book of Shrigley
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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books; Main edition (16 Feb 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847678637
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847678638
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 15.2 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 51,101 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Funny, profound and surprising all at the same time (Harry Hill)

A brilliant new volume (Scotland on Sunday)

Consistently funny (Daily Telegraph)

[A] master of modern surrealism . . . a must for fans of the absurd (Evening Standard)

On the kink of his line Shrigley can shift effortlessly from pathos to paranoia. And his work is funny - very funny - his timing devastatingly effective. (Will Self)

Weird, funny, abject, wise, silly, savage, moral and engaging. (Independent)

David Shrigley is probably the funniest gallery-type artist who ever lived. (Dave Eggers)

With a casual gesture Shrigley points to that hideous shape whose name I've never known - and then he names it. And the name is profoundly, embarrassingly familiar. I'm laughing while frantically searching for a pen, so desperate to capture the feeling he has unearthed in me. (Miranda July)

Shrigley's comedy appears to confirm the belief of great humourists (from Laurence Sterne to Woody Allen) that laughter is synonymous with hope. In the arena of contemporary art, Shrigley's work maintains a dualism, which is rare, rewarding and ultimately generous. (Frieze)

David Shrigley is a rare thing in the art world: someone whose work people - normal(ish) people - actually love (The Skinny)

The Glasgow-based artist's scribbly drawings and witty captions have inspired a cult following and a celebrity fanbase including Will Self and Franz Ferdinand. (X Magazine)

David Shrigley's wonderfully skewed cartoons (The Glasgow Herald)

Shrigley specialises in the humour of a horny teenage boy crossed with an uptight conservative wrangling with modern moral dilemmas. Needless to say, we are in love. (The Gay Times)

a must for fans of the absurd (ES magazine)

Half man, half legend (Skinny)

Over the 300 or so pages, Shrigley mines a mordant, scatological seam, conjuring up the dark tradition of British humour that threw up Tony Hancock and Chris Morris (The Times)

Of his 20-odd books, this is by far the best. Plus, he's really famous now, so this might be the only way you'll ever own anything he's drawn (X Magazine)

A massive yellow compendium of paintings, writings, sculptures and scrawlings from an artist touched by comic genius and something like full-blown lunacy (The Lady)

Book Description

The definitive collection of the work of cult artist David Shrigley, who has been nominated for the Turner Prize 2013

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laughed my head off 9 Oct 2010
I sat in the bookshop literally laughing my head off at this book, which of course caused some mess and consternation. Dave Shrigley has a weird, dark and sometimes childlike imagination that triggers both deep thought and belly laughs. An artist/cartoonist/whatever he is has no right to be so expletively talented, yet still as poor as a church mouse, I assume, when compared with that pretentious bloke who does sharks. Give it to all your depressed friends at Christmas - the gift of highly original therapeutic humour - so you can feel duly self-righteous.

Professor Colin Feltham
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of "What the Hell are you Doing?" 30 Nov 2010
By 5142BY
An excellent collection of both old and new stuff (mainly new I think) by the amusingly disturbing artist David Shrigley. Even the pieces which have appeared elsewhere before are worth seeing again in a bigger, bolder and brighter format. A must for any collector of David Shrigley material, and a great introduction for anyone not yet aware of his work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get Shrigley 18 Nov 2010
By Funbags
Shrigley is probably my fave modern artist - his perspective is brilliantly twisted, and his admixture of high concept and low format (scribbles, crossing out and ruled lines form part of his lexicon) is right on the money. This is art with a sense of humour; often satirical, always left of centre. This book offers an overview of Shrigley's work, including photographic and sculptural pieces. His work is ideally suited to a book format - you aren't losing anything by not seeing the original in most cases (as you would with a printed photo of a painting, for instance) and being able to soak it all in en masse definitely helps to get you into 'Shrigley mode'. As weird as it is his work has great popular appeal...I guess people find cartoons non-threatening or something. Check it out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Artist Ever 8 Nov 2010
Hyperbole perhaps, but ultimately true. This book is brilliant. Shrigley manages to be entertaing and funny yet there underneath the absurd belly of his work lies something truly dark and serious. His work is thought provoking and direct and deceptivley simple and a joy. While some contemporary art may seem hard to connect with and maybe a bit distant, Shrigley's work has an honesty and humour about it that makes it irrestible and inviting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbingly brilliant 14 Dec 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is immense. I bought it as a present, but think I'll get one for myself too! It arrived at the office, I had a sneaky look and a girl in the office saw it and we both had a giggle. We both knew most people in the office would probably find a lot of the drawings offensive and disturbing, but we shared the same humour and this book is just pure, simple brilliance.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The cat says "I am dead" 27 Jun 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I saw his gallery exhibition at the Hayward and bought this book after. Well made/printed, loads of material, all a bit unsettling. Exactly what I expected!
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5.0 out of 5 stars David Shrigley is hilarious 10 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
David Shrigley may not be to everyone's taste, but his brand of humour is (in my opinion) thought-provoking and also hilarious. This book is his best out of the ones that I've read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars this is a very funny 15 Oct 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
book and if you have the chance to read it and reread every time you are a little unhappy it is the greatest thing around
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Hillarious !
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars The word rubbish comes to mind.
I was under the impression that art and artists communicated new ideas, feelings, emotions and insights. That they provoked "Aha! Read more
Published 16 months ago by R. Schulz
5.0 out of 5 stars If you laugh at his stuff you'll like this
Bought this after seeing an exhibition of his at the Cornerhouse in Manchester. Sometimes his drawings make you chuckle, sometimes they make you reflect or feel sad and poignant. Read more
Published 19 months ago by TangoCharlie
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome
this book makes me squeal with delight- unfortunately I had to give it to a friend for her birthday but am ont he look out for another copy for myself...a reluctant present. Read more
Published 20 months ago by kat
5.0 out of 5 stars Hahahaha
Tickles my funny bone that's for sure. Off the wall and will be buying more for myself and everyone I know!
Published 20 months ago by BJC
5.0 out of 5 stars Is it art?
I was about to ignore the request to review this - being a scientist I didn't feel I was qualified to comment on an artist's work. Read more
Published on 16 Sep 2012 by Big Rich
5.0 out of 5 stars A Limited Review
It was ordered by me as a present for a relative so I haven't done the book justice. But I did have a browse through it before wrapping it up and enjoyed the quick ready wit the... Read more
Published on 22 Jan 2012 by JCB
1.0 out of 5 stars Who the hell can publish this ?
Yes some pages can bring a smile on your face 1 every 50 and for the others you just sit wondering who can publish this ... Read more
Published on 5 Nov 2011 by Olivier Allais
3.0 out of 5 stars Some funny pictures
The book is full of images by the artist in his typically scrawled style, excellent to have on the coffee table and flick through but I'd say it wasn't substantial enough for the... Read more
Published on 10 Aug 2011 by Alex Pughe
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