The Morning GIF: Bar noir

Ward Jenkins

GIF artist ABVH brings a piece by Ward Jenkins to life in this subtle cinemagraph.

Here at the Daily Dot, we swap GIF images with each other every morning. Now we’re looping you in. In the Morning GIF, we feature a popular—or just plain cool—GIF we found on Reddit, Canvas, or elsewhere on the Internet.

Illustrator Ward Jenkins, known online as Wardomatic, is a bit of a machine, a bit of a social media star, and now a bit of a muse. He has the Internet bases covered with a website, a blog, a Tumblr, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and, yes, an Etsy store. With an appealing and imaginative mid-century-influenced style, he’s got the artistic bases covered too.

Now he’s sharing the podium with Banksy as an inspiration to GIF artist ABVH, who famously brought to life Banksy’s iconic graffiti.

Choosing an atypically dark (in every sense) Jenkins piece as his starting point, ABVH turned it into a subtle cinemagraph. By animating only the eyes, the smoke, and the tip of the barfly’s cigarette, he was able to retain and even accentuate the claustrophobic immobility of the subject.


The original Jenkins piece was an entry in Illustration Friday, a casually competitive challenge among professional illustrators and artists that dates to 2005. He explained:

“I immediately thought of a film noir scene when I first read of the week’s theme, black & white, and so, being that I had recently wrote about Frank Miller’s Sin City, I wanted to get real dark and gritty. I wanted to go to both extremes with the tone, from bright whites to jet blacks, from bright lights to sunken shadows. So, what a better setting to convey this type of scene, than in a bar?”

An decidedly noir scene for both normally sunny artists, the GIF has received 446 notes since it was posted yesterday. As for the subject, he’s probably on his third bottle and his last chance by now.

Lorraine Murphy

Lorraine Murphy

Lorraine Murphy is an Ottawa-based cybersecurity journalist and founding editor of the Cryptosphere. She has a keen interest in WikiLeaks and web culture, and her bylines have appeared in Salon, Vanity Fair, Serious Eats, and elsewhere.