Sasha Katz The Moscow artist making the case for GIFs as works of modern art

Cover Image - Sasha Katz

“When I was little, I had a Sega Genesis and one of my early aesthetic experiences is closely tied to Sonic the Hedgehog,” says Sasha Katz about her first encounter with the old-school 8-bit visual style of those early video console games we (90s kids) all used to love.

The Moscow-based creative describes herself as a GIF artist and through browsing her extensive Giphy gallery you definitely get why. She uses the sometimes under-appreciated format to create visuals that thrill her online followers and attract big brands like Converse.

That Sasha was heavily influenced by the style of those early game developers is apparent in her art: she stays true to the same pixel limitations they had back in the day.

In her GIFs, she mixes ferns, water and other natural elements with computers, mobile phones and cassettes. Where she applies sharp edges to the technological devices, she plays with the distinction between the natural and the technological by using curves for the natural elements: “Most of all in life, I love gadgets, nature and contrasts. One balances the other out,” Sasha explains.

While at art school, she got interested in animations. She learned how to use techniques like rotoscoping, stop motion and so forth. “It was there that I fell in love with the mesmerizing effect of moving images.

“I absolutely love GIFs. They are instant and infinite and are an ideal format for communication. In modern art, the GIF can play any role the author or viewer desires. I am absolutely sure that GIFs are works of art. Moreover, the internet, the context in which they are placed, is the perfect medium for interaction and interpretation.”