Renaissance GIFs Man





I’m very much for the interesting juxtaposition of things old and new. And sometimes once in a cold, blue moon, I see something that just makes me laugh till my sides hurt and cry “why didn’t I think of that in the first place?!

The work of James Kerr of Scorpion Dagger has this very effect on me.

The premise behind his ideas are simple: he uses characters from Renaissance paintings and makes them come alive through animated GIFs. In ways you wouldn’t expect, and typically not in the fashion you would think. Niceties are out the window, and in comes the culture of the 21st century, embodied by characters who belong in museums (who look much too solemn to be twerking, you say? Prepare to never look at a painting the same way again.)

On being a self-taught artist:

I don’t necessarily have any formal art training, I actually studied History and Political Science in University, but have been making art in one capacity or another practically my entire life.

On where his ideas come from:

My ideas pretty much just come from silly thoughts that I have.

On how he creates his GIFs:

Once I’ve decided what I’m going to make, I start looking through paintings to pull out elements that I think would work best for that GIF. It’s then cut, paste, animate in Photoshop until the GIF is done.

[Quotes from We are Visual Animals]

I come bearing GIFs

I love GIFs. They’re one step up from static images and one step behind videos – and yet with all their clunkiness (and if you’re like me on an older Mac, they might freeze up your browser tabs if you load them all up at one go) they’re a force to be reckoned with.

Illustrators take note – while you may be thinking your stills are amazing, how about giving your motionless drawings (that might be staring at you a little sadly) a bit of pizzazz by making them move? Not convinced? Then perhaps hopping over to Bearing GIFs – a collaborative project helmed by illustrator Charlene Man will change your mind. She’s enlisted a group of illustrators to come up with one GIF leading up to Christmas; and you my dear readers, are in for a treat because the collection is nearly complete!

Devour them one at a time in all their glory or load them all at one go, the choice is up to you. I liken it to a choreographed firework of animation and colors on screen that begs a second look at each frame.

[GIF by Katie Johnston & Lauren Doughty]

Have a wonderful Christmas folks, and here’s to lots more adventures as we ring in 2014!