artist in studio

Meet David Shrigley, the Man Behind the Champagne Satire

British artist David Shrigley is known for his distinctive drawings that highlight the humor, and banality, of everyday life. Pairing colorful and semi-realistic figures with the classic scrawl of his handwriting, his pieces serve as a sort of social commentary and are well-loved in the art world and at large.

While Shrigley’s drawings are the cornerstone of his artistic success, the artist has comfortably expanded his practice into other mediums, including large-scale installations, sculpture, photography and animation. Most recently, he launched the Mayfair Tennis Ball exchange in London—an interactive installation which asks participants to exchange a brand-new tennis ball for an old one. Regardless of media, his work is always imbued with a sense of play.

Shrigley has also expanded the subject matter of his art through a variety of intentional partnerships. In 2020, the artist began a collaboration with champagne house Maison Ruinart, which was recently unveiled at Art Basel Miami Beach 2021. After learning about the intricacies of champagne production through a stay at the Maison in France, Shrigley produced a series of new work to commemorate Maison Ruinart’s mission and delicious product. Inspired by the champagne-making process, his “Unconventional Bubbles” installation includes 36 drawings, gouache paintings, three neon installations, two ceramic works and a life-size door installation.

David Shirgley in the studio.

The collaboration was celebrated via a 300-person fête at the start of Art Basel, allowing guests to mingle amongst life-size renditions of Shrigley’s work, and witness firsthand his interpretation of Maison Ruinart. Partygoers laughed as they interacted with Shrigley’s grape-stomping installation and dodged the absolutely massive inflatable worm towering over the DJ booth.

Though Shrigley doesn’t “partner with just any company,” he explains, he felt “comfortable working with Maison Ruinart because their product is sustainable: it’s a plant. Other luxury products like sports cars are terrible for the world and the world just does not need any more sports cars. Everybody needs a glass of champagne.”