Sunday, October 29, 2023

Art Forgery by AI

Midjourney has capably challenged great artists in its renditions of The Mona Lisa, The Girl with a Pearl Earring and The Starry Night.  But could the program produce something as sublime as "Dogs Playing Poker"?  Cassius Marcellus Coolidge produced eighteen "Dogs Playing Poker" paintings between 1894 and 1910.  Here are a few examples.

"A Friend in Need" (1903)
"Poker Game" (1894)
"Sitting up with a Sick Friend" (1905)
Midjourney versions of those paintings are below.

How do they compare?

The subject of The Mona Lisa conveys an elusive sense of mystery that is arguably lacking in the AI imitations.  

Wikipedia praises The Girl with a Pearl Earring for its "subtle color scheme and the intimacy of the girl's gaze toward the viewer."  Is the AI copy subtle or intimate in any way?  You judge for yourself.  I will say, though, that AI is wonderfully creative in its ability to produce endless variations of a painting.

Midjourney variations of Mona Lisa

Midjourney variations of The Girl with a Pearl Earring

"The Girl with a Pearl Earring" in the style of Final Fantasy by LaMasQlona

"The Girl with a Pearl Earring" in the style of Steampunk by eggressive

Midjourney can do an amazing job of mimicking Norman Rockwell's iconic style.  But, in a recent article, I described the strange experience that I had working with Midjourney to create Rockwell-style Halloween illustrations.  The illustrations turned out to feature surprise appearances from grotesque imps.  AI obviously leaned into the horror aspects of Halloween and failed to understand the sancity of Rockwell's wholesome Americana.  Being as respectful as I am, I removed the imps from the otherwise picturesque scenes.  But other Midjourney users have perceived a benefit in combining Rockwell's idealistic and sentimental imagery with weird and outrageous Lovecraftian horror.

Rockwell in Halloweentown by BaconGristle

1950s Hallmark Halloween Card with Children Trick-or-treating by unagi911

Have a good day.

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