Finally, the lofty gallery world sees GIFs for what they truly are: works of art. The very classy Saatchi Art, the Saatchi Gallery have teamed up with Google+ to inaugurate the Motion Photography Prize–a dignified way of saying “GIF Prize.” Now’s your chance to prove to your mom that spending hours perfecting a loop of Shrek eating a bag of sour cream and onion chips was a good use of your time.
You don’t even have to be a master of the infinite video loop to apply: you can simply sign in to Google+, upload between five and 50 stills, and Google+ will GIF them up for you. Four of six categories have been announced so far: Landscape, Lifestyle, Night, and Action. Finalists in the six categories will receive a special feature in the online Saatchi Art gallery and a trip for two to London to visit the group exhibition at the brick-and-mortar Saatchi Gallery showcasing all the winners. The contest will be judged by some pretty famous artists: Tracey Emin, Shezad Dawood, and Cindy Sherman, as well as filmmaker Baz Luhrmann.
In January, we saw the launch of the .GIFY (GIF of the Year) Awards run by the GIF-mongering BuzzFeed. If those were like the GIFs of the Oscars, then Saatchi’s new contest might be the GIF equivalent of the Turner Prize. Will our grandchildren one day visit museums to gaze upon infinite loops of melting popsicles and fish throwing up roses? The future of fine art lies in your hands, Internet.