Seeing as how the GIF has become an integral part of modern communication, PAPER is teaming up with our friends at GIPHY Arts to spotlight up-and-coming artists who are taking the medium to the next level. This week, we have John Fogarty's GIF paintings, which take texture and movement to another level.


John Fogarty is a multimedia artist working primarily in drawing, painting, and collage from his home in New Jersey. Recently, he has spent more time creating digital work - specifically GIFs and fields on to.be - and views these mediums as a light-hearted way to engage with his more traditional physical works.



John's favorite GIF, above, captures the calm looping flow of one of his layer paintings. A similar GIF was recently featured next to the painting that was its genesis at GIPHY's Loop Dreams exhibition last fall.



John's GIF-making process entails making a painting, taking a photo of it with his digital camera, and uploading this photo to LunaPic, a low-resolution web-based image editor. He enjoys pushing the limitations of the basic filters the program offers, approaching the tool with a painterly disposition, slowly tweaking layers, mutating the image through trial and error, saving and re-uploading until he achieves the desired effect. This process can sometimes take as long as a couple of hours. The unique visual language that results from re-uploading images to LunaPic ad infinitum has become his signature style.



The simplicity of this process is surprising, given how visually complex the GIFs become.



John cites nature photography, science fiction, Aphex Twin, and long exposure photos of neon lights among his artistic inspirations. He spends much of his time on the internet listening to music and participating in various online artists communities. He says, "It's cool to connect with other people making art in ways that seem interesting or different/more complex than I completely understand."



Many of John's GIFs feature hard frames and borders that penetrate and encompass rippling color, creating complicated fields of depth. He says that people see different combinations of dimensions and portals, which makes each GIF a bit of a Rorschach test.



These prismatic liquid GIFs invite contemplation to the point of hypnosis. John views them with "no context connected to anything except color, space, and rhythm or flow."


Learn more about GIPHY's artists here, or follow GIPHY Arts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
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