David Griggs

Photography by Bella Bruzzese

Paintings by David Griggs may be read as narratives, drawn from incidents he observes in the city streets that relate the texture of our times. Even more they emerge from the painting itself, becoming explorations of the discoveries he makes along the way. In his practice, he ‘reaches behind daily observations to give them a good tug’. Griggs uses an ambitious scale to draw viewers in, with subjects including people, politics, sex and phobias, abstracted and smashed together with surreal conjunctions. Most recently his process is to make detailed paintings, before disrupting them with a more gestural application, to ‘try to wash away the mechanisms we have as painters’. His style is wide-ranging, restless and eclectic.

Griggs (b.1975) has been making art since he was a schoolboy. He holds a Bachelor of Visual Art from Sydney College of the Arts (1999) and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Sydney (2007). He won the Willoughby City Art Prize in 2001, and is a repeat finalist in the Archibald Prize (2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019) and other national prizes. He spent twelve years in The Philippines following an Asialink residency (2005), revelling the number of other painters at work there, and developing a billboard style aesthetic that conjures up the chaos of the city. A survey exhibition, David Griggs: Between Nature and Sin toured galleries in Australia (2017-2019), and his work has been curated into exhibitions in Paris, Copenhagen, Quezon City, Singapore, Sete, Manila, Bangkok, Graz, Berlin, San Francisco, Jakarta, and Miami.

He works in painting, video, sculpture and photography, and his work is in institutional collections all over Australia, notably QAGOMA, Brisbane and the Museum of Contemporary Art and Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Sydney.

Download CV