Death of Painting? It's time to talk about AI
They have been announcing the death of painting for centuries; since the invention of printing back in the Han dynasty (about 100 AD) artists have been looking over their shoulders at the latest technological breakthrough. We have always felt threatened by the ability of the machine to subvert what we do, to replace our skills and expertise. Fortunately, when the printing press came along artists harnessed the duplication power to replicate their work and reach a much wider audience. It was evident that the reproduction of reality could be delegated to a mechanical device that would reproduce the visible world with breath-taking detail and speed. From that moment on, artists had to focus on visual elements that could not readily be captured by light-sensitive film and a lens. The artistic gaze shifted inwards towards imagery inaccessible to the prying eye of the camera's aperture, towards the psychological world of sensations and feelings.
AI produced description of it's own Artwork:
'Foggy Dawn' 60 x 60 cm Reduced from $500 to $250 With strokes appearing in embossed edges to create a phantom mist all over the canvas, this painting uses pale colours of blue and white. With a bit of yellow and red, like the joining of clouds and the sun during early dawn, this piece is best in a transitional or French Country interior.
But is AI a game changer, are we at a creative crossroads where the production of individual paintings can be subcontracted to a collection of algorithms and a 3D printer? The AI developers, or more specifically the marketing industry behind the technology, would undoubtedly want to convince you of this. You can buy a custom-made masterpiece AI painting of your choice right now, today; just like ordering a big mac with fries and a soft drink. The tagline, 'taste a new kind of food for your imagination'. Artists proclaim the inviolability of human creativity and invention and maintain it isn't possible to reproduce the idiosyncratic personal touch, the unique idea, or the individual's personal perception. I'm afraid I have to disagree; I think it will be all too easy to generate the appearance and reality of any given artwork or indeed produce a work of art executed in the style of an existing painter. We won't be able to tell them apart. I believe the problem lies elsewhere. In a world flooded with fakes indistinguishable from the 'real thing' a number of outcomes are possible.
AI produced description of it's own Artwork:
This one is an abstract artwork made with the mirage of embossed paints against the canvas. This painting suits a minimalistic interior, preferably in neutral colours. It would also complement a transitional design with traditional furniture and create a warm ambiance inside any space.
I remember producing work as a stock photographer, just before the price of high-quality digital cameras became much more affordable. Overnight, the value of stock photography fell dramatically and hasn't recovered to this day. The availability of a limitless supply of inexpensive stock photography images, often taken by 'hobbyists' with a camera undermined the market value of existing stock imagery. When high-resolution mobile phone cameras became ubiquitous, a further collapse in values ensued. This is the nature of technological progress and why artists will not be immune from these established patterns. However, this isn't the entire story, there are still photographers who produce exceptional work and many are now adopting AI technology to enhance their work. Whether in the long run, they will survive the tsunami of AI-generated imagery is altogether another question.
AI produced description of it's own Artwork:
'Flamenco' The center of this work of art created by an Artificial Intelligence algorithm is a fragile and elegant female silhouette captured in light tones. Around it is a hurricane of black and red skirts that rise and twist in the passionate dance of flamenco. As this spectacle itself, this painting is a dynamic and captivating sight, and being able to witness it daily is a pleasure beyond compare, especially for those fascinated by Spanish culture. The good news is that it will fit a variety of interiors, including bohemian, eclectic, art-deco, and minimalist ones.
In the near future, it may not be possible to distinguish between an original artwork and a flawless facsimile. But maybe we won't have to, a machine will do it for us. I'm sure the art market will move heaven and earth to protect investment value and algorithms will be designed to detect fakery and establish provenance. It will probably be a scanner or app built into your mobile phone ready to be deployed when the price is more critical than the artwork. When so much energy and enterprise are already deployed to keep prices artificially high and protect investor value, these kinds of developments are virtually inevitable.
Let me know what you think by commenting below! Why not get an AI to comment?
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I will be exhibiting abstract landscape artwork inspired by the Fenlands in Britain at future Affordable Art Fairs, for the newsletter to keep up to date. I will be exhibiting with Linton 59 and Darryl Nantais Art Gallery is representing my artwork. I do hope you can be there.
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I am a UK based abstract landscape painter/artist with a range of compelling and popular original mixed media paintings available to buy. You can follow my artistic practices, latest artworks and painting techniques and news by reading my contemporary art blog.
If you have seen an artwork that you like, you can buy my art online and easily order a painting by contacting me directly using the contact form. Please add the name/title of the artwork in your message. It may have already sold, but if that is the case, don't worry, you can request a commissioned piece just and get a painting you will love.
I ship paintings worldwide, and they are professionally and securely packaged for National and International courier services. They are delivered to your home in a reinforced box within 3-5 days of your order. You can buy my art online and order a painting or request a commissioned piece by contacting me directly using the contact form.
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I am a British artist based in Ely, Cambridgeshire and my work is sought by collectors here in the UK and worldwide. I have exhibited recently at the Battersea Affordable Art Fair, The Babylon Gallery in Ely, The Art in East Anglia Gallery, in Bury St Edmunds, The Darryl Nantais Gallery in Linton, The Michael House Centre and The Locker cafe in Cambridge. I also have collections of my artwork in prestigious office settings in major towns and cities throughout the country.
I work in mixed media, oil, cold wax, acrylic, bitumen and on both medium and large-scale canvases. My techniques involve a range of techniques and processes including, drawing, painting, collage, printing and mixed media applications. My main subject matter is landscape and abstraction and many of my paintings are located somewhere between figurative and non-figurative approaches to image-making.
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