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GIF-fiti: a graffiti artist’s street works made exclusively for the Internet

Graffiti artists have been throwin’ up tags and creating extravagant city murals for decades; the way street art is sort of ingrained in urban culture says a lot about the way we see it as second nature—accepting it ultimately in its initial backlash (though, some would disagree.) And it’s no surprise that the Internet has blown up with photoblogs and Instagram accounts exclusive to the craft, but the way one particular UK artist who goes by the name Insa creates his works is especially so they can be turned into animated GIFS. Which, totally incredible, right?

“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.”

By painting and repainting (and repainting again!) along with the endless amount of creative labor involved, Insa’s works are photographed before each change and later sequenced in a GIF Loop. And it’s not easy!

“[A]ccessing the surface as a whole can be problematic. Reaching different spots on a building requires balance. Sometimes I’ll find myself with one foot on top of a ladder while gripping onto a brick, to finish the top of a wall. It’s a much more physical act, using the whole body – stretching, climbing, reaching – compared to painting a canvas in the studio.”

Insa has worked with many artists and musicians before on similar conceptual pieces such as his not too long ago “Hollywood Dooom” collaboration with Stanley Downwood—known mostly for his poster art and designwork for Radiohead.

The “White Walls Project” is the most complex of anything Insa’s ever done, and its completion is another to add to his already impressive resume. But don’t think any of this has been easy; it’s been a long road for the graffiti artist whose done his share of time for hitting the streets with a spray paint can in hand—though probably worth it considering he’s worked with Nike, Sony, and Kid Robot.

If you’re strolling along the streets of Los Angeles, New York, Warsaw, Berlin, Hong Kong, Brussels, or Montreal, don’t be surprised if you see some walls covered in Insa.

(via The Verge Photoshop Blog)

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Kaitlin Duffy is a writer from Cleveland. When she's not blogging or pondering the great complexities of the world and outer space, she is finding rare vinyl steals, visiting new places, laughing often, Instagramming everything in sight, watching movies, or working on her first feature Port de Cleve.