Assignment #3- do memes imitate life or does life imitate memes?

Lady Gaga Art GIF by Apple Music

are memes art? definitely. although memes have not existed too long in the grand scheme of things, there were definitely meme precursors that were also art- the comic strip! think of peanuts, the far side, garfield or any other comic strip… those were analog memes; a funny little picture and words for context to tell a story and make the audience feel something (humor, namely)

The Far Side" by Gary Larson. | Far side comics, The far side, Far side cartoons


you can argue that the comic strip was “more” of an art than memes are because the artist actually had to sketch the featured drawing but memes often consider digitally altered or created images that the artist put time and effort into creating- no different than doing a sketch in my opinion…

memes are art for many reasons;

Episode 7 Reaction GIF by Law & Order

firstly, because they require skill and practice to make at an advanced level. like any other art form (painting, dancing, sculpting, etc.) , it is one that could be perfected over time. and like any other art form, it exists on levels scaling from primitivity to mastery.

art drawing GIF by tobycooke

memes, like all other art forms, have sub styles- there’s dank memes, niche memes, ironic memes, deep fried memes, etc. and once a new style of meme is created by someone, they inspire other people to make similar memes… like in art, the style of one artist or memeist will inspire hundreds of others to embrace the same style and implement it into their own work.


Celebrity gif. Zoom in on Debbie Aderinkomi, who has her back to us. She spins around for a stylish and playfully serious greeting with her arms folded, and says: "It's trending."

memes are art people they make people feel something. happiness is the first emotion that comes to mind, but I have definitely come across memes that have boiled my blood or have made me feel sad, I’ve even seen memes that made me feel shameful I could find them funny.

Miami Heat Crying GIF by NBA

most importantly, memes are art because they shape our culture. memes are timely, and document important social events. memes require context- sometimes the context will have to do with pop culture, sometimes politics, sometimes the PSAT– without the context, you’re lost.

hey arnold nicksplat GIF

i think some people’s reluctance to recognize memes as art stems from some form of elitism because as pointed out by the guy in the video , memes have the potential to be participated in by everyone; memes are inclusive whereas more classical forms of art sometimes are not. i love the quote he cited from Tolstoy- “to invoke in oneself a feeling one has once experienced  and having evoked it in oneself, then by means of movements, lines, colors, sounds, or forms expressed in words so to transmit that feeling that others experience the same feeling. this is the activity of art.” i completely agree that this quote can be directly applied to memes.

Lets Get It Dancing GIF by Alex Bradta couple of memes about CT101:


PTSD Clarinet Boy meme


1 thought on “Assignment #3- do memes imitate life or does life imitate memes?”

  1. Epic post!
    Thank you so much for the great work, tons of referencing and hyperlinking to great resources!
    I loved the Far side as a kid and Still Love it today! Sooo good!
    Love the CT101 memes here!!

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