Even when they're not about current events, this artist's GIFs are ripped from the headlines

Franziska Barczyk makes animated collages inspired by the daily news and daily life. Take a look!

Franziska Barczyk makes animated collages inspired by the daily news and daily life. Take a look!

Franziska Barczyk is this week's Exhibitionist in Residence. (Courtesy of the artist)

It started out as a "fun thing."

Toronto-based artist Franziska Barczyk was, as she often is, busy doing illustration work for clients: The New York Times, NPR, Lenny Letter, The Walrus — to give you just the short list.

"I work digitally a lot," says Barczyk, 34, who is also the illustrator of an upcoming children's book, Our President Was Called Barack. "And when I take a break from digital I like working with ink or painting or collage."

Or, really, all of those things at the same time.

I call them mini short stories.- Franziska   Barczyk , artist

Barczyk, who majored in illustration at Toronto's OCAD U, began dabbling in animation as a break from her usual freelance hustle, and a selection of the playful video collages she made last year appear on this week's episode of Exhibitionists.

It's that special blend of mediums that makes them so unique, and most of the GIFs you'll see on CBC Arts mix paper collage, hand-drawn illustration and photography.

Says Barczyk: "I call them mini short stories."

"I'm super inspired by just daily events, daily news — people's stories, how people see the world, different perspectives."

There's a GIF about climate change on the show, and a GIF about the refugee crisis. In both cases, her subject matter— and art supplies — were ripped straight from the headlines.

That's part of the appeal of working in collage, she says: "I feel like in collage you're taking a snippet of reality and taking a snippet of what's going on right now" — though as you'll see, the final product is a touch more surreal than the news. Even in 2017.

Most of the GIFs are more like experimental films about ordinary life — reflections on everything from meditation to bike rides to long-distance relationships.

"When I look at them I just see that they're fun," says Barczyk.

See for yourself.


Watch CBC Arts: Exhibitionists online or on CBC Television. Tune in Friday nights at 12:30am (1am NT) and Sundays at 3:30pm (4pm NT).

About the Author

Leah Collins is the Senior Writer at CBC Arts.


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