Over the past decade or two, street art has developed and changed to become a massive global art movement helped in no small part by the development of technology and the internet. Whereas in the past street art was truly ephemeral, websites, blogs & Facebook pages have allowed thousands (even millions) of people to discover and experience street art remotely for as long as the content is available online. Without these developments, it could be said that the latest ‘GIF-fiti’ work from London based street artist INSA would probably never have existed in this latest format.
Unlike most street art, INSA‘s murals weren’t made to be seen in person – they’re best viewed online. That’s because the UK-based artist painstakingly paints, photographs and re-paints each of his works several times over in order to create these amazing animated GIF images. Each piece is created with movement in mind, with the artist envisioning the final animated result as he paints each step. What looks like a relatively ordinary mural when passed on the street becomes mesmerizingly kinetic when seen as a final work of art. These made-for-the-internet works of physical street art defy the conventional wisdom that art is best appreciated in person, though it would still be nice to check out all of the details up close.
In an interview with Adobe, INSA says “I realized I was viewing more paintings online than in real life, the majority of art I was accessing was on the internet. Whether that was street art from around the world, or exhibition openings on blogs, and it disheartened me a little, because although it was great to be able to see so much work, I realized this was never the way the artist would have intended for their work to be seen. So I thought an interesting way to play with this idea was to create art specifically to be viewed online: to the point that you could not actually see it in reality. So, in fact, the internet becomes the best viewing platform for the work.”