Painting, collage, photography, music, installation, sculpture, and even video are all acknowledged mediums for art. But can we truly consider a proper GIF animation as "fine art?" Six recent winners of Saatchi Gallery's and Google+'s new Motion Photography Prize prove the answer is, "Yes," as they celebrate this new form of "motion photography."
The GIF image launched its own resurgence in the midst of the booming of Internet memes in their seemingly infinite motion forms. Reactions of celebrities on TV shows or in red carpet interviews (Jennifer Lawrence, anyone?) top Reddit charts and the most popular blogs as mass media takes the animated GIF on its new ride. But at least one gallery is trying to capitalize on the possibilities of the medium as a form of artistic expression.
Saatchi Gallery supports, shows, and shares contemporary art -- they're involvement is quite obvious. However, Google+'s involvement is interesting, as it was through the ability to easily create animated GIFs with images uploaded to Google+ that made the platform the perfect partner for the Motion Photography Prize, the winner and finalists of which were announced April 17.
Film director Baz Luhrmann, artists Shezad Dawood, Tracey Emin and Cindy Sherman, and Saatchi Gallery CEO Nigel Hurst sat on the panel that judged over 4000 entries from 52 countries to decide on a single winner, five finalists, and a shortlist of 54 additional animations that are currently on exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in London until May 24th.
If anything, Saatchi Gallery's new endeavor proves the world is short of no ingenuity or creativity. While Saatchi can prove motion photography deserves a place in fine art history, there's one thing they can't yet prove: is it GIF or "JIF?" Yes, I know: as stated by its creator, the GIF is apparently pronounced, "JIF." But I still refuse to accept that.
Here's a thought: forget the debate and create a fantastic animated GIF in your spare time that you can share! Just a thought...