How David Shrigley & Tal R Got Together to Make "The Notebook"
We have become a bit closer to the mind of David Shrigley over the last year, from him being the Summer 2023 cover story and Radio Juxtapoz podcast guest for his Pulped Fiction project. Part of looking into his practice is this idea that, as a conceptual artist, collaborations may seem like a tricky endeavor. When he told us, "So I've got a lot done and now I'm in this situation where I don't have to make the work. I could just roll a joint and get stoned and go up the hill and hang out with my dog, albeit, it is really cold. I wouldn't do that," I tend to think I wonder how he would work well with others. Well, he does, actually.
The Notebook, now on view at Anton Kern Gallery in NYC, is a collaboration and conversation between artist friends, Shrigley and Tal R, developed from artwork exchanges over the past six months that have led to a cohesive and quite entertaining body of work that doesn't resemble each other but sort of gets into the dialogue of how friends with different methods could get along. "He is able to tell stories using just pictures which is something that I can’t do very well," Shrigley says. "He is also a master of colour in his paintings which I am not: I think my favourite artists are those that can do things that I can’t." There are things that Tal R can't quite do either, perhaps in graphic sense of humor, but he can translate into some exciting exchanges and stunning oil works.
It ended up as a collaboration that, when presented, really does read like a conversation. They sequence in the gallery is smart, the viewer can follow along and see where one thought begins and a memory ends. This is what artists in conversation should look like. —Evan Pricco