Scottish Soccer Fans Not Thrilled About David Shrigley’s Bizarre New Mascot

Kingsley. Photo: Jeff Holmes/PA.

Turner Prize-winning artist David Shrigley was tapped to design a new mascot for Partick Thistle Football Club in Glasgow, named Kingsley.

The mascot was unveiled yesterday, to reactions ranging from tepid responses to sharply written takedowns.

Kingsley is a sunny yellow pointed figure with large mouth, crooked teeth, vacuous eyeballs, and a supremely disquieting unibrow. He was described by Telegraph writer JJ Bull as “Lisa Simpson if she had been tortured and then melted. And then addicted to crystal meth.”

We’re guessing this is probably why they don’t usually commission contemporary artists to create mascots for professional sports teams.

While Kingsley definitely has a bizarre and unsettling vibe, Shrigley isn’t exactly known for creating cuddly works of art, so it’s tough to imagine what was expected of him in the first place.

David Shrigley, Life Model at Art Basel 2015. Photo: ArtObserved.

David Shrigley, Life Model at Art Basel 2015.
Photo: ArtObserved.

“David Shrigley does not do cute,” art critic Jonathan Jones writes in the Guardian. “Shrigley is a tough and honest artist. His work is accessible, in that it uses direct images and plain words. But its sensibility is dark and scathing.”

Jones feels the lack of love for Kingsley is a perfect example of the unfortunate dichotomy between good art and crowd-pleasing art, which often results in public art that is shallow and insipid.

“Good artists cannot and will not provide what the public wants,” he writes. “They need to be edgy, challenging, otherwise they will become sellouts.”

Again, we’re just going to chalk this one up to a lesson learned about why Turner Prize-winning artists shouldn’t be asked to design popular mascots. Unless they’re in Japan.

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