David Tristan Birkin (born 1977) is a British artist working in photography, performance, and sculpture.
Birkin comes from a family of artists that includes his father Andrew Birkin (writer and film director), his aunt Jane Birkin (singer and actress), his grandmother Judy Campbell, his cousins Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Doillon, and his late brother Anno Birkin (poet and musician).
Birkin grew up between London and New York City, eventually returning to the UK to study human sciences and anthropology at Oxford University (1996–1999). He worked as an actor in film and theatre, including productions for the Royal National Theatre, Peter Hall Company, and Brooklyn Academy of Music, and narrated the English translation of the 1953 film Les statues meurent aussi at the French Institute in London.
In 2009, Birkin began a postgraduate degree at the Slade School of Fine Art (University College London) with postgraduate funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. He received a bursary from the National Media Museum and was awarded the Sovereign Art Prize for his Diptych exhibited at the Barbican in 2010. In 2011, Birkin was graduated from Slade with an MA in Fine Art. He exhibited as part of the Saatchi Gallery's 2011 New Sensations exhibition. He curated an exhibition at the Tallinn Kunstihoone in Estonia titled Moments of Reprieve: Representing Loss in Contemporary Photography, featuring works by Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin, Ori Gersht, Idris Khan, Eleonora Rossi, Indre Serpytyte, and Taryn Simon.
Birkin was an artist-in-residence on VLA's Art & Law Program in 2012 and at Yaddo in 2013. In 2014, he completed a fellowship with the Whitney Museum of American Art's Independent Study Program in New York.
He has since written and photographed editorial commissions on subjects ranging from the deforestation of orangutan habitat in Borneo to the Afghan Film Institute in Kabul, and has performed in films by the artist Nathaniel Mellors for the 2009 Tate Triennial, the 2010 British Art Show at the Hayward Gallery, Ourhouse at the ICA in London, and the 2011 Venice Biennale.
Birkin had his first solo art exhibition in 2007 in London.
In 2009, Birkin married performance artist Eloise Fornieles.
- VLA Art & Law Residency, New York
- David Birkin in 1000 Words Magazine
- David Birkin in Artforum Critics' Picks
- David Birkin in Art in America: review of 'Play' @ Paradise Row Gallery
- David Birkin: essay by Daniel Campbell Blight
- David Birkin at Hot Shoe
- David Birkin in The Telegraph (Culture / Photography)
- David Birkin at the Saatchi Gallery