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African Masks Warp in These Hand-Drawn GIFs

They kind of look like No Face from Hayao Miyazaki's 'Spirited Away'—but on ketamine.
January 28, 2016, 6:30pm
Images courtesy the artist

A series of hand-drawn African masks by Brooklyn artist Matthias Brown, a.k.a., Traceloops transforms in a series of seamless GIFs as addicting to watch as the Domino's Pizza Tracker in winter (read: very addicting). Each illustration starts with the same basic image: a thick-browed face Brown tells The Creators Project is "based off of a barn owl and various old statues and masks." A fraction of a second later, the mask splits, warps, divides, combines, changes color, changes shape—and then inevitably winds up back at square one.


He's been exerimenting with this character for weeks. Initially it looked like the No Face character from Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away, but has since formed a visage reminiscent of masks and idols from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He's made dozens of variants on the same basic conceit—plus a sweet enamel pin—and the reason, he says, is it mellows him out. "New Year’s marks the start of me being anxious about tax season. Animating helps me to give focus to something that isn’t that anxiety," he says. "But, it can be difficult to figure out what to animate. Having the same starting point of the face helps to alleviate the intimidation of a blank piece of paper."

Feel your own tax season stress melt away like Brown's mesmerizing faces in the GIFs below.

Check out more of Matthias Brown's work on his website.


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