David Shrigley’s Lightswitch

David Shrigley’s Lightswitch is a 1-minute and 28 second long animated line drawing of a hand turning a light switch on and off. It’s about as simple as a cartoon could be, but for me, having just this morning lost my best friend to lung cancer, it is one of the most compelling depictions of our existence I know. I can feel Shrigley rolling his eyes, but that doesn’t bother me. He cultivates a flippant, goofy approach to art that uses art’s self-importance as a straight man. That is all well and good, but from the first time I saw Lightswitch several years ago, it struck me as both funny and profound. Below is a typical Shrigley drawing that addresses this very issue.

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