A good animated GIF can make a boring day on the internet just a little bit better. NYC photographer Romain Laurent has mastered this art, taking any normal scene and making it absolutely bizarre. In his recent series of animated portraits, he uses the looping GIF to repeat impossibly strange scenarios from people slapping themselves in the face (with an extra set of arms) or stepping in a circle while keeping their torso still, to blowing endless piles of leaves out from under their shirt. The project is a fun break from his normal routine of commercial projects.
Romain has turned Gifs into an art form, making entrancing pictures that are part still-image, part video.
The series of eccentric animated GIFs are titled ‘One Loop Portrait’ and is aimed at breaking out of the box, which it does quite well. The photos are surreal, interesting, and super dope. But don’t take our work for it, check out some of the GIFy goodness below.
He began making the images around two years ago as an escape from advertising work that he was doing, and they usually feature his friends and acquaintances.
It wasn’t long before companies became interested and he produced his first Gif campaign for Hermès.
The artist typically takes a short film of his subject, chooses a single still frame to act as a base for the finished product, then layers video over the top.
Laurent said a key part of doing Gif advertising was being allowed to keep his signature quirky style, like in this commercial for Starbucks.
Laurent spends a long time editing each image to make sure each Gif loops perfectly with no obvious start or end point, such as in this campaign for Gap jeans.
While some of Laurent’s work is playful or amusing, other images are slightly sinister – such as this young female photographer surrounded on all sides by iPhone cameras.
In this Gif, Laurent takes on the traditional artistic self portrait, but instead of showing his own face, he replaces it with a lampshade and a set of quirky shadow-eyes.