“I love the fact [that the Internet] enables me to see new work that is being painted all over the world — I flash through hundreds of amazing creations daily. But in the same breath this means I don’t really take any of the works in. No matter how big a painting or extensive an installation, all I’m seeing is small online images which aren’t necessarily how the artists wanted [their art] to been seen.”
– INSA, to The Atlantic
Static canvases are so 1987. Graffin’ is risky business – there’s arrests, spray fumes, and on a plain public wall anyone can come along and deface your artwork. They can line it, tag over it, and even worse… CLEAN IT. The internet knows no such ephemerality.
That’s why artists are flocking to their prefered image hosting site to chronicle their pieces – why let hours of work be ruined and lost entirely by some kid with a rattle-can and a hoody? Keeping a record of graffiti is a known and well-established thing – we used to get zines, and now there are tons of blogs dedicated to keeping up with local wall art and there are even walking tours to see notable pieces in the trendier parts of major cities, but INSA is trailblazing a slightly different route.
He’s moving into GIF-iti.
The quote at the top of this post is from INSA, he’s checked out the multitude of blogs on his art and found them lacking – information overload with a brick wall backdrop. Standing out online is a tough gig – for bloggers, musicians, businesses, and graffiti artists. We see dozens of images online every day, but how many do you remember vividly?
That’s why INSA is innovating with moving images. “I wanted to flip it around and make paintings that could only really be viewed online, sometimes huge, sometimes taking many days but always just ending up as a 600 pixels wide GIF image.” INSA takes graff’s inherent ephemerality and flips it into it’s defining quality – each piece changes as soon as a picture is snapped and the artist gets down to the business of putting up the next frame.
Each piece can take days to complete the loop, but once it’s done, it’s forever. An immortal 600px GIF. Specially built graffiti for the digital generation. Artwork for the internet.
I like the idea of making artwork for the Internet as it is truly open to all to see and pass on and not kept behind gallery doors or in private collections
We’ve got a selection of GIF-iti below, and you can check out a full gallery over at The Atlantic.